A fresh loaf of naturally leavened bread straight out of the oven is a wonderful thing. If you happen to purchase one of our loaves from our Saturday Farm Store/Bake Shop or from the Yellowknife Co-op on our delivery days, you may experience just that. The fresh bread smell wafting through the air, a slice slathered with melty butter. It is one of life’s simple pleasures. Refresh stale bread at home to recreate this experience.
If you forget your bread on the counter for a couple of days, didn’t store it in an air-tight container, or decided to freeze it for use later, can you still have that fresh out of the oven experience?
The answer is yes.
How to refresh stale bread!
The goal is to introduce your stale bread back into a hot environment with a good amount of moisture.
Preheat Your Oven
Preheat your oven between 300ºF to 325ºF with a rack in the middle position. The low temperature will help refresh the loaf, rather than drying it out further.
Soak Bread In Water
Here comes the weird part. Once your oven is up to temperature, take your stale loaf of bread, or a partial loaf of bread with the cut side down, and run it underwater.
The best way to do this is by turning on your kitchen sink faucet, either hot or cold water will do, and dousing the entire loaf, getting all sides wet. If only a partial loaf, try not to get the inside too wet, but it is alright if it does.
Place Wet Loaf In Oven
Once soaked, place your stale, but now wet, loaf in the warm oven directly on the middle rack. Bake for 6-7 minutes, but longer if the loaf is very wet.
The moisture on the loaf will help refresh the interior of the loaf without drying out the crust.
The result is a refreshed and revived loaf of bread as if it were just baked. Steamy and chewy on the inside, crusty and crackly on the outside.
Reviving bread with this method that has been frozen also works. Before you want to refresh your frozen loaf take it out of the freezer and keep it in an airtight container or bag if it is not already in one. Let it completely thaw and come back to room temperature. Then proceed with the steps above.
And that is your bread wisdom for the day.