I hate throwing away food.
Preparing for Thanksgiving week, I bought a bit too much food. One item was a loaf of delicious seeded multigrain whole wheat bread from Grand Central Bakery.
The loaf was untouched for several days and became predictably so hard it would have been difficult to slice. The interior no doubt now was also quite tough.
A professional chef friend told me that it is possible to rejuvenate a stale loaf of bread by running a water faucet all over the loaf and briefly baking it! I was skeptical, but what did I have to lose?
Note 1: Do not attempt this with moldy bread. If your bread has mold, compost or toss it.
Note 2: This works best with fully intact loaves of bread. But Bon Appetit says even if the interior of the bread gets wet, it still can be rejuvenated.
How to Rejuvenate Stale Bread
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
Step 2: Hold the bread under running water. Completely soak the surface. Soak the bottom of the loaf more, since it is usually thicker and tougher. If the bread has been sliced, position the exposed portion of bread away from the faucet to minimize getting that part wet.
Step 3: Place the soaked bread loaf on the bare oven racks and set your timer for 10 minutes.
Step 4: Remove and inspect the loaf. If the loaf is large and/or still dry and hard, repeat the rinse and bake once more.
Step 5: Remove the loaf, slice, and enjoy!
You may need to adjust the temperature and length of baking time depending on the size and type of loaf you are rejuvenating. Just keep an eye on the bread while it is in the oven. You will be surprised how well this can work!
Update: I was able to successfully rejuvenate a baguette as well! Also, I attempted re-rejuvenating a loaf that had been sliced, and it worked as well!