We all love French bread, but we also know that it isn’t nearly as delicious the next day, when it gets all dry and stale.
Luckily, with the right reheating method, you can transform a stale loaf of French bread into a crispy, fragrant baguette in just a few minutes.
The best ways to reheat French bread
In case you have some leftover French bread, you may develop the habit of throwing it away when it’s no longer fresh.
While no one enjoys dry, old bread, we advise you to minimize food waste and also save some coins by learning how to properly reheat French bread.
You may believe that, regardless of the method you use, the bread you warm up will never taste and smell like the one you pick up from the local bakery.
However, with the right method and a few simple tricks, you will have a loaf of fresh, crispy baguette on your table in just a few minutes.
A common mistake people make when reheating French bread is throwing it into the oven, air fryer, or any other appliance as it is, without spraying it with water beforehand.
Warming up French bread, or any other bread for that matter, without any preparation, will result in a dry, crumbly, hard loaf of bread that will in no way resemble fresh bread.
Another solution for your stale baguette is to freeze it and simply take it out of the freezer whenever you feel like having a hot, crispy loaf of French bread.
In addition to lightly spraying the loaf, we suggest wrapping the bread in a piece of aluminum foil. This step will allow the inside of the bread to get warmed up without drying out.
A few minutes towards the end of this process, you can simply remove the foil, and allow the bread to develop a crispy, crunchy outer layer.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into the best methods to warm up French bread without drying it out.
How to reheat French bread in the oven
The best way to heat up a baguette is certainly to use the oven and we sure know just how time-consuming it can be to wait for it to reach a certain temperature.
However, if you’re warming up a frozen baguette, waiting for the oven to preheat won’t be too much of a hassle as you’ll have to wait for the bread to defrost at room temperature, as well.
If properly prepared, the bread will remain soft on the inside, while developing a golden crust on the outside.
The reason why you should slightly dampen the loaf (either by using a spray bottle or quickly running it under the tap) is to lock in the moisture and prevent the bread from becoming dry and crumbly.
Also, the water from the bread will evaporate and create steam that will also prevent the bread from drying.
The aluminum foil wrapped around the loaf will also ensure that the bread doesn’t dry out while the inside gets warmed up.
Finally, by removing the foil, you will allow the crust to get golden and crispy as you’ve just baked a fresh loaf of French bread.
Here are the steps to reheat French bread in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Slightly dampen the loaf using a spray bottle filled with water.
- Wrap the baguette in a piece of aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped loaf directly on top of the oven rack.
- Bake for 5-10 minutes to allow the inside of the loaf to get warmed up.
- Remove the foil and bake the French bread for another 2 minutes to get a crispy crust.
- Take the bread out of the oven and brush it with the mixture of melted butter, garlic, and parsley if you’d like to add more aroma and flavor.
How to reheat French bread in an air fryer
If you’re in a rush but you’re looking for another efficient method to reheat a baguette – the air fryer is the best solution.
The air fryer will essentially do the same thing as the oven, but you won’t have to wait for it to preheat, which will save you a lot of time.
However, keep in mind that an air fryer doesn’t offer as much space as the oven, so you may have to cut the baguette in half, or even to smaller pieces, for it to fit.
One of the best features of an air fryer is that it doesn’t dry out the food as much as the oven, and it is quite convenient and easy to use.
Even though the air fryer isn’t as drying as the oven, we’d still recommend dampening and wrapping the bread before placing it into the air fryer basket.
Here are the steps to reheat French bread in an air fryer:
- Set the air fryer to 350°F.
- Slightly dampen the baguette with water and wrap it in some aluminum foil.
- Place the loaf into the air fryer basket/onto the rack and bake for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the foil and allow the bread to bake for another 2-3 minutes to get a golden crust.
How to reheat French bread in the microwave
When it comes to reheating bread and pastry, many people tend to avoid microwaving them as this method can often change the texture of the dish.
However, the secret to a delicious, fragrant loaf of French bread from the microwave is in a damp paper towel.
For this method, instead of spraying the loaf with water and wrapping it in foil, you want to cover the baguette with a piece of damp paper towel which will bring back the moisture.
An important advantage of the microwave over other methods is that it is extremely convenient and quick.
However, you don’t want to reheat the bread in long intervals and at high temperatures, as the bread may become hard, dry, and flavorless.
Another important fact to note about reheating the bread in the microwave, as opposed to the oven and the air fryer is that the crust can often be quite chewy and not as crunchy.
Here are the steps to reheat French bread in the microwave:
- Grab a microwave-safe plate and place the baguette on it.
- Dampen a paper towel and cover the loaf with it.
- Microwave for 15 seconds, then check the crust and the warmth.
- It is important to microwave the bread in 15-second intervals, as longer intervals will make the bread chewy and dry.
How to reheat French bread on the stove
While reheating your baguette on the stove may sound a bit counterintuitive, you may be surprised with the results of this reheating method.
Once again, the key lies in wrapping the loaf in a piece of aluminum foil, which prevents the bread from drying out before the inside gets warm enough.
Also, you will need a source of moisture to keep the bread from drying, so it is recommended to sprinkle or spray some water on the loaf.
This method is also a great solution if your microwaved bread came out with a soggy crust, and you want to get the outside layer crispy and toasted.
All you need to do in this situation is cook the baguette on a non-stick pan for a couple of minutes, or until you’re satisfied with the level of crispiness.
Here are the steps to reheat French bread on the stove:
- Grab a pan large enough to fit the baguette, or portions of it, and prepare the lid.
- Dampen the bread with some water, then wrap it in a piece of aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped bread in the pot, then cover the pan with the lid.
- Heat the loaf for 10 minutes on low heat, or until the bread has reached the desired temperature.
- Take the bread out of the foil, and toast it directly on the pan for a couple of minutes to get a nice crust.
How to reheat French bread in a toaster oven
A toaster oven is essentially a mini oven that will give you the same results, but also save you a lot of time and effort.
This kind of oven usually takes less time to preheat, and it doesn’t make your kitchen too hot, which is particularly important during summertime.
We’d also recommend dampening and wrapping the French bread if you’re reheating it in a toaster oven, as it is the best way to prevent the bread from drying out and developing a chewy, hard crust.
Here are the steps to reheat French bread in a toaster oven:
- Preheat your toaster oven to 350°F.
- Slightly dampen the loaf (either by running it under the tap or spraying it with water), making sure you’re not using too much water.
- Wrap the baguette in aluminum foil and place it into the preheated toaster oven.
- Bake the bread for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake for additional 2-3 minutes to allow the crust to become golden and crispy.
How to reheat French bread in a toaster
So far we’ve only discussed the best methods to reheat the entire loaf of French bread.
However, if you’d like to reheat slices of bread instead, using a toaster is the easiest, most effective way to get crispy, delicious bread each time.
Here are the steps to reheat French bread in a toaster:
- Cut the baguette into slices.
- Spread some butter on top of the slices if you want to add more flavor and aroma (but you can also add the butter once you’ve toasted the slices).
- Add the slices into the toaster and choose the desired setting depending on how toasty you want the slices to get.
Can you reheat French bread?
Using the right method and our tips and tricks, you can easily reheat frozen French bread and bring back all its flavors and aromas.
The next time you consider throwing away your French bread, remember that, in just a few minutes, your house can smell like a fresh baguette without having to make the dough yourself.
Reheating the French bread in the oven is certainly the best method, but an air fryer and a toaster oven can replace your big oven in this case.
Microwaving the bread tends to make the crust soggy and chewy, but it is the quickest solution when you’re in a rush, in addition to heating up a sliced baguette in a toaster.
While it may take more time than other methods, reheating the baguette in a pan gives you complete control over the process.