White bread, whole grain bread, buns, or baguettes: can you bring stale bread back to life? Express.co.uk reveals how to make stale bread as good as new.
Why does bread go stale?
Staling is the name for when bread loses its moisture and becomes dry, but it’s more complicated than that.
Bread flour contains lots of starch molecules which form a crystalline structure in their natural state.
This is a highly organised solid composition of atoms.
When you add water to bread flour, the structure becomes more disorganised and gel-like.
That’s what gives bread its fluffy and soft texture when it is fresh out of the oven.
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As bread cools and starts to age, water leaves the starch and moves into other parts of the mixture.
The starch molecules return back to their crystallised state and the bread becomes harder.
Putting your bread in the fridge will make this recrystallisation process happen faster, which means your bread will go stale quicker.
So how do you rehydrate bread and bring it back to its former glory?
How to make stale bread as good as new
Revitalising bread is not a magic trick, it is simple science.
According to Cher Loh, Head Tutor at the Good Housekeeping Institute Cookery School, you can use the power of water to fix your stale bread.
She told Good Housekeeping: “Take your bread, and run it under a tap, or immerse it completely in water.
“This rehydrates the bread.”
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It’s not as easy as making the loaf soggy, you’ll need to stick the loaf in the oven afterwards.
Loh said: “Then stick it in the oven at 200C (180C fan) for a few minutes, and your bread will miraculously be edible once more.”
You can only use this trick one though, and if you see any mould growing on the bread you should simply throw it away.
This hack won’t get rid of mould and other nasty fungi, it only transforms stale bread.
The water and oven hack will only work with an unsliced loaf, so don’t try this on a bag of sliced bread from the shop.
In theory, this will work with any unsliced bread, so an unsliced roll, baguette or any other bread should benefit from this handy tip.
If your bread is still dry after this, try dabbing water along the length of the bread with your fingers.
Don’t saturate it, start small and build up.
This will reincorporate moisture into your loaf on top of the rehydrating and softening process.
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