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Help! My bread’s gone hard!

Fresh bread… mmmm mmmm it’s delicious and we all love it right? Sometimes it’s not possible to get to the end of the loaf before it gets a little less like the soft fresh loaf you purchased. Of course in a perfect world thinking ahead and freezing a portion of the loaf is best if there’s a chance it won’t all be gobbled in two to three days. Naturally, there may be times when even the best freezing intentions fail and you are left with a loaf needing some TLC.

Naturally, there may be times when even the best freezing intentions fail and you are left with a loaf needing some TLC.

If you find yourself with a loaf that’s on the turn and getting a bit hard, all is not lost. There are actually a few ways of bringing it back to life and because we’re often asked how to revive bread that’s past its best, we thought we’d let you in on the tricks…

There’s no need to delegate that hard bread to the job of paperweight or doorstop and remember, many recipes actually call for stale bread as an ingredient, so that’s always an option to consider too. But should you wish to revive your hard loaf, here are some tips and tricks for softening it.

Using the oven, you can…

  • Preheat oven to around 110/120 degrees Celsius. Wrap the bread in a damp (but not soaking) tea towel and place it on a baking tray popped into the preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes
  • Dampen the bread by flicking cold water on it, running it under the tap or rubbing it with wet hands, the idea being to add moisture without soaking it. Wrap in foil, toss it into the oven until it comes good. (Usually no more than 10 minutes)

If using a microwave, you can…

  • Wrap the bread in a damp tea towel (again, not soaking) towel, place it on a microwave-safe dish, and then give it bursts of 10 seconds on high. You should check after each 10 seconds and repeat if you need to.

Of course don’t leave the bread unattended in the oven or microwave as you want a softer loaf, not charcoal.

Well, that is quite simple really!

What should you do now?

  1. If you want to freshen a bread that’s started to harden, try one of the tips from above and let us know how it goes .
  2. Do you have any other ideas for softening bread? What do you do with bread beyond its best? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.
  3. Want some help or ideas? Just contact us at Killarney Vale Bakery now.


If you have extraordinary bread and extraordinary butter, it’s hard to beat bread and butter.
~ Jaques Pepin

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