How to Reheat Bread (without Making it Hard!)

Most of us are familiar with the dilemma of reheating bread, whether it’s something like leftover bread slices from delicious garlic bread, a whole loaf of homemade white bread, or some slightly stale bread you want to revive.

I’m a big bread lover, and I know there are various ways to reheat bread, but in my opinion, reheating bread in the conventional oven is the ideal way but you can also use the microwave, and it’s really simple either way. Follow the easy steps below!

loaf of Dutch oven bread with one slice removed

How to Reheat Bread in the Oven

Gather Your Supplies 

The supplies you need for this process are very simple. All you need is: 

  • Your leftover bread
  • Aluminum foil 

Preheat the Oven 

The first step is to preheat your oven to 350°F. If you would like to speed up the process and have more browning results, preheat the oven to 375°F. For an even faster process, use a toaster oven or air fryer with a bake option since they heat up much faster than an oven.

Prep the Bread 

While the oven is preheating, the next step is to prepare the bread for reheating. Start by wrapping it in tinfoil. The foil will keep the outer crust from getting too hard or even burning before the inside of the bread has time to warm up.

Without the foil, you could end up with rock-hard bread. If you want to remove the foil early to crisp up the crust of the bread, this step will only take a couple of minutes, and you’ll need to make sure you keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. 

Reheat the Bread 

Place the tinfoil-wrapped loaf of bread in the preheated oven, and bake for 10-15 minutes. The exact time will depend on the size of the bread, whether it’s a loaf or just slices, but just keep an eye on it and remove it from the oven when it’s warm and golden brown. 

Cool and Enjoy 

Once the bread is golden brown, use oven mitts to remove it from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving. 

How to Reheat Bread in the Microwave Oven

Reheating your bread in the microwave oven is a quick and easy way to get warm, soft bread. If you don’t care about toasted, crusty bread, this might be your best option for reheating bread. 

Gather Your Supplies 

The supplies you need for this process are few. You’ll want to gather the following: 

  • Your leftover bread
  • A microwave-safe plate
  • Damp paper towel

Prep the Bread 

If you have a full loaf, slice it into smaller pieces. This will help to make sure that all parts of the bread get heated evenly. 

Reheat the Bread 

The next step is to put the pieces of bread on the plate, cover them with a damp towel, and heat them in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

The wet paper towels on top of the bread help keep them moist because the microwave can zap out all the moisture from the bread. It’s best to start with half the time and then go in increments of 10 seconds if needed. Just remember to keep an eye on it so you don’t end up with an overcooked or dried-out loaf of bread. 

Cool and Enjoy 

Once the bread is heated through, remove the plate from the microwave with an oven mitt and transfer the pieces of bread to a cutting board so they can cool. 

Tips for Keeping Leftover Bread Fresh

When you make homemade bread or have leftovers from meals, there’s no reason to toss it right away. Bread can be hard to keep fresh, but here are some tips to help.

  • Freeze for later: If you don’t plan on eating leftover bread the next day or within a couple of days, your best bet is to freeze it for later. Use a freezer bag to store slices of bread or whole loves. If you buy multiple loves of sandwich bread at one time, consider freezing an entire loaf of bread at once. You can even take slices out as you need them and go through the reheating process each time so the rest of the loaf can stay fresh longer. 
  • Use a paper bag: Bread with a thick crust, like French bread or baguettes, store perfectly in a paper bag at room temperature. 
  • Keep out of direct sunlight: The heat from the sunlight will create moisture inside the container and cause your bread to mold faster. Room temperature in a dark spot in your kitchen will create the ideal temperature for your bread storage. 
  • Use a plastic bag: Breads with a soft crust, like store-bought bread for sandwiches or dinner rolls, are best stored in plastic bags. A plastic bag or even plastic wrap is a great way to keep soft bread moist and fresh for longer. 

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