soon to be stale bread

Unless you’re a total carb-o-phile, or you share a household with eternally hungry teenage boys, you may not get through a loaf of preservative-free bakery bread before it gets stale. That means, sadly, that extra bread winds up in the trash. Not anymore! This essential kitchen tip can help you freshen stale bread and reduce food waste.

To start: One way to extend the shelf life of fresh bread is to store it in the fridge or the freezer. The cold will preserve a loaf’s lifespan, but it will also rob the bread of its crisp exterior and chewy crumb. What to do about the problem created by our preservation solution?

Don’t worry, we’ve got a solution to that too. The easiest way to freshen a stale loaf of bread is simply to stick it in the oven. Take your loaf right our of the freezer or refrigerator and pop it into a 475°F oven. After to three minutes, the loaf will be hot and crispy again.

This method is best suited for bakery bread. Unlike its more processed counterpart, pre-sliced sandwich bread, bakery bread doesn’t contain any preservatives. That means it will become stale or moldy in just a few days if left out on the counter. Sandwich bread, on the other hand, is often happy on the counter top for up to a week.

Ribollita soup with stale bread

Once it’s out of the oven, you can use the bread in recipes, like this Tuscan Ribollita, or just enjoy it with a smear of good butter.