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Hard French bread (or other) can be made fit to eat by putting in the microwave for 30 seconds or so. If the bread is VERY stale and hard, then sprinkle some water on the bread to help soften it.
If your loaf of bread is starting to go stale, place a rib of celery inside the bread bag, seal the top, and let sit overnight. The bread will absorb just enough humidity from the celery for to have soft bread by morning. Celery, being quite neutral, should not affect the taste of your bread.
Freshen stale bread by brushing the top with water, wrap in foil and bake 325 degrees F for 10 min.
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How do I soften hard bread?
Susan from Falmouth, MA
What works for me... Place a wet paper or cloth towel atop the dry bread then microwave on half-power or less for about 10-30 seconds. The variable depends on how much bread you want to soften and the wattage of your m.oven.
You can do this in a toaster or regular oven but on a low setting; check on it every minute until you learn how long it takes for the bread to soften in your appliances.
my grandma used to soften cookies with an apple slice - she just placed it in the cookie jar with the cookies - seems the same thing would work for bread
Also, you could slice the bread, then place a few slices in the microwave along with a cup of water. Depending on how strong your microwave is, try zapping the bread in 30 second bursts until it gets soft enough.
How do you soften stale bread?
Joseph from N. Chelmsford, MA
I suppose it depends on how stale it is but when I have bread that is starting to dry out, I just put in the microwave for a few seconds....that turns it nice and soft again and warms it up too.