How to Soften a Baguette/French Bread (Best Method to Use)

How to Soften a Stale Baguette/French Bread

Want to know how to soften a baguette (French bread)?

In this short guide, we will show you the kitchen tricks that you can use to get your stale French bread soft and ready to eat.

So, let’s jump right into it.

Why Do Baguettes Get Stale/Rock Hard?

Why Do Baguettes Get Hard?
Photo by Sergio Arze on Unsplash

If you’ve ever wondered why baguettes become rock hard, it’s because of the way they’re baked. Baguettes are typically made with a lean dough that doesn’t contain much fat. This results in a bread that is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. The lack of fat means that French bread dries out quickly. This is why they often become hard if they’re not eaten within a day or two after being baked.

If you want a more detailed explanation, check out this interesting discussion on Quora about why baguettes get hard.

How to Soften a Hard Baguette? (3 Best Methods To Use)

Baguettes get stale and hard after a couple of days, making them difficult to eat. But don’t worry, there’s ways you can use to soften them up so you can enjoy them again.

Here are three of the best methods:

Method 1: Soak it in Water & Place in the Oven

Soaking your French bread in water and then placing it in a preheated oven is one of the best ways to soften it.

Here are the steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Take the baguette and run it under some water for about 30 seconds. (Try not to get the inside of the bread wet).
  3. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven for 5-10 minutes on the middle rack.
  4. The bread should be soft and ready to eat.

Water is very important in reviving stale French bread. The water will help to rehydrate the stale bread and make it soft again. When baked in the oven, the water will also create steam, which will help to make the crust of the bread softer.

Please Note: Eat your reheated baguette within 15 minutes, as it will become hard again.

Check out this quick video that shows you how to do it properly.

Method 2: Wrap it in a Damp Towel & Microwave

If you’re short on time, another quick way to soften a baguette is to wrap it in a damp towel and microwave it for 30-60 seconds.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Get a small towel and wet it with some warm water.
  2. Wrap the wet towel around the French bread, making sure that the bread is completely covered.
  3. Place the wrapped bread in the microwave and heat it on high for 15-30 seconds.
  4. The bread should now be soft and ready to eat.

Please Note: Like the oven method, your reheated baguette will only be soft for 15 minutes or so. After that, it will start to harden again.


We hope you found this guide on how to soften stale French bread helpful. Remember, if your bread is too rock hard, you can use the oven or the microwave to soften it.

Also, don’t forget that there are plenty of ways to use a stale baguette. If you’re feeling creative, try one of the recipes above.

If you have any comments or other tips you use to soften a baguette, please share them with us in the comments below!

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