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How to Heat Bread for Ultimate Freshness – Best Ways

This guide on how to heat bread will teach you how to reheat old or stale bread at home. Make your old stale bread taste as fresh as it did from the oven!

Parmesan rosemary bread that was baked 20 minutes ago. There is a bowl of garlic confit next to it.

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As a bread lover myself, I know how heartbreaking it can be for a fresh homemade loaf to become old and stale overnight! I have tried various techniques to reheat bread at home. 

These are the tried and tested reheating methods to turn your old stale bread into a fresh loaf!

Quick How To Heat Bread FAQ

How do you reheat bread without it getting hard?

You can sprinkle water on your bread then reheat it in the oven or microwave. The moisture will prevent your bread from becoming hard.

Is it OK to heat bread in microwave?

Yes, in fact the microwave is the quickest way to heat bread. Simply microwave your bread for 30 seconds or until it is warm.

How do you reheat bread to make it crispy?

The best way to reheat bread to make is crispy is to use an air fryer. The air fryer circulates hot air, which will make the bread crispy.

Sliced artisan yeast bread on a cutting board. There is grated cheese and herbs.

The Best Ways To Reheat Bread

Simply put, the best methods to reheat bread like a pro are:

  1. Heat bread in your oven or toaster oven
  2. Reheat the bread in your microwave
  3. Use your air fryer for your bread

How To Heat Bread In Oven

For best results, use your oven. The preheated oven is the best way to heat up your bread, especially if you want to heat an entire loaf.

Follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Wrap your bread in aluminum foil (or use a dutch oven)
  3. Bake on a baking tray for 5-15 minutes
  4. Unwrap your bread (remove the aluminum foil)
  5.  Place on a cooling rack until ready to eat.

You can eat your bread while it is still warm as if it was just baked! Or, you can let it cool down to room temperature.

Taking the top of a dutch oven off while the bread is baking in a hot oven
Using my dutch oven to heat up bread

Can You Reheat Bread In Oven With Water?

Absolutely!!! This is the BEST option to heat bread if you do not want your bread to become crispy or hard. 

Steps to reheat bread in oven with water:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Sprinkle your entire loaf or slices of bread with water. 
  3. Place bread on oven rack and bake for 5-15 minutes
  4. Place the warm bread on a cooling rack until ready to eat.

Using water is perfect when you want to reheat bread without making it hard. Moisture is key to avoiding dried out slices of bread

How Long To Heat Bread In Oven?

The baking time depends on the size of the loaf and the efficiency of your home oven. I advise that you keep an eye on the bread while it is warming up in your oven.

For entire loaf of bread, such as a sourdough boule or French Baguette, it can take between five to fifteen minutes to heat up.

For slices of bread, or flatbread such as pita bread and naan bread, it can take as little as five minutes.

sourdough flatbread on a cutting board with parsley, salt, and extra virgin olive oil
A toaster oven is the perfect way to heat up flatbread like pita bread and naan bread

How To Heat Bread in a Toaster Oven

For a quick and easy way to revive your bread, the toaster oven is the way to go. 

Toaster Oven Steps:

  1. Lay your slices on the center rack in your toaster oven 
  2. Sprinkle some water on top of the bread
  3. Press the “toast” function on your toaster ovenlet the toaster work its magic. 

In no time, you’ll have warm, crispy slices ready for your favorite toppings. It’s more energy efficient and faster than a regular oven! 

How To Heat Bread In Microwave

The microwave is a great way to reheat bread when you’re in a time crunch. It is the quickest out of all the methods.

Steps:

  1. Lay bread slices on a microwave-safe plate
  2. Cover them with a damp paper towel
  3. Microwave on lower power for one minute.
  4. Check bread and microwave for more time if still not warm.

Contrary to common misconceptions, this method won’t leave your bread soggy if done correctly.

Fresh loaf that was sliced

How Long To Reheat Bread In Microwave?

It depends on the bread that you are heating and your microwave. Different types of bread will require different microwave times.

Slices of bread will take less time (around one minutes).

If you are heating up loaves of bread, it will take up to five minutes.

Can You Microwave Bread To Make Toast?

Kind of, but not really. You can make toast in a microwave, but it won’t be the same as toast made in a toaster oven. 

How To Reheat Bread In Air Fryer

If you are aiming for a crispy crust, then this method is for you! Surprisingly, the air fryer can be an excellent option for reheating bread. 

Steps:

  1. Set your air fryer to 350°F
  2. Place slices of stale bread in the air fryer basket
  3. Heat for 2-5 minutes.

Since the air fryer circulates the air, the bread will have a crispy exterior. 

How To Reheat Frozen Bread

Your best bet is to let frozen bread defrost overnight in your refrigerator. 

I’ve tried to reheat frozen bread in the oven and microwave. It didn’t go well. It’s best to let it defrost before using one of the methods above.

A table that has rosemary, parmesan, garlic confit, and a freshly baked loaf of bread. A person has a plate of sliced bread and will eat it.

How To Store Leftover Bread After Heating?

First, let the bread cool down to room temperature on a wire rack. You do not want to wrap bread while it is still warm, as the condensation can make your bread soggy and mold

To store your bread, use an airtight container, a bread box, or even a freezer bag. Moreover, you can use plastic wrap as well. These options maintain the perfect moisture levels, ensuring your bread stays fresh for an extended period.

Do not use a paper bag. Paper bags let air in, which will make your soft bread become hard and stale.

If you’d like to know more about how to store leftover bread, check out my guide on The Best Ways To Store Bread

Best Tips For Reheating Bread

Heat it up slowly!

For the ideal warm-up, embrace low temperatures. Whether in a conventional oven or toaster, a gradual approach ensures better results, preventing the risk of ending up with rock-hard or soggy bread.

Add Water for Moisture

When dealing with crusty bread, a touch of moisture can revive its texture. Wrap the bread in a damp kitchen towel before reheating, or use a spray bottle for a fine mist. This helps restore the crystalline structure, giving you that perfect crunch with every bite.

Other Helpful Bread Guides

Ultimate Baking With Yeast Guide For Beginners

Helpful Baking Conversion Charts

The Ultimate Guide to Storing Bread Like a Pro

11 Tell Tale Signs: How To Tell If Sourdough Bread Is Bad

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