When it comes to knowing how to reheat bread, you must first understand that the methods will differ slightly based on how you stored your bread. Your methods for reheating bread will also depend on which appliance you intend to use, whether you will use your oven, toaster or microwave oven.
Let’s quickly cover the different methods for storing bread for the short-term or the long-term.
Basically, short term storing implies storing your loaves/buns/bagels in paper bags, in bread boxes or in the fridge. The idea is that the bread must be sealed off in something so that the air doesn’t make it too stale in just a single day. If it’s too stale, the bread will have to be thoroughly watered before reheating it.
Long term storing means freezing the bread.
Thus, given these different storing methods, we’ll also be taking different approaches for how to reheat bread.
Before that, in case you are interested in another type of bread, you can also learn all about storing and reheating garlic bread.
How to Reheat Bread: Which Is the Best Way?
The best way is to reheat your bread in the oven. Reheating in the oven is the best way whether we’re talking about artisan breads, many of the flatbreads, garlic bread, buns, breadsticks or toasting bagels.
The oven is the universal appliance that works for all these types of breads, all of them really. It’s also amazing because, if you do it right, it won’t dry out the baked goods that need to be reheated.
You can use a big wall oven, a toaster oven, or a convection oven. Whatever you use for baking breads, pizzas or cooking meat and vegetables will also work for reheating.
1. How to Reheat Bread in the Oven
1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 175-180 degrees Celsius)
2. If you want to reheat a whole loaf, keep it whole, slice it after removing it from the oven
3. Wrap the loaf in aluminum foil – the role of the foil is to keep the moisture in and to prevent the crust from getting burned
4. If the bread is already sliced, the slices should be put one next to the other and wrapped in the same foil
5. Bake it for about 10 to 15 minutes – 15 minutes is only needed for big, tall loaves; if you only have a few slices, check them out after about 5-7 minutes
6. Baguettes will only need about 10 minutes of reheating in the oven
If your bread is too stale, you might rescue it by pouring a bit of water over it. Wrap it up in aluminum foil but leave a bit of space at the top between the loaf and the foil so that the steam doesn’t make it soggy.
If your oven has a warm setting, just use that one.
2. How to Reheat Bread: Use a Toaster
If you don’t want to use an oven, you can reheat slices in a toaster as long as the bread is not absolutely dry.
If you think that it’s too dry, just sprinkle a bit of water over the slices on both sides.
Then pop the slices in the toaster. If you don’t want your slices to get crispy, you just want them nice and hot and fresh again, then pop the Cancel button after only a minute or so. That’s for those who don’t want the slices to turn into toast.
Nowadays, toaster models have more functions than the classic models that we all grew up with.
Nowadays, it’s common to see Bagel and Defrost buttons alongside the Reheat button.
So you can use your toaster for frozen slices of bread, too, and for toasting bagels.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for buns, garlic bread, focaccia, naan, breadsticks or for thick slices.
Unless you get a countertop toaster oven. Check out my reviews for the best sourdough toasters if you’re looking to get a toaster oven that works for every type of baked product.
3. Using the Stovetop
Using a stovetop also works for different types of loaves, including garlic bread.
Wrap the loaf/slices in aluminum foil, place a lid on the pot/skillet and heat on the stovetop on low heat. It will take about 5 minutes.
4. Using an Air Fryer
Using an air fryer to reheat bread is really simple and very fast. It will only take a couple of minutes.
Place the bread in the air fryer basket at 320 degrees F (160 degrees C).
If you want to up your game, you can drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil over it. It’s not necessary but it will make things more interesting.
In 2 minutes it should be fresh again.
5. How to Reheat Bread in the Microwave
Frankly, this is the least recommended method because reheating in the microwave has the potential to dry out the slice very quickly.
I would also recommend reheating just one slice at a time and adding a glass of cold water on the plate near the slice.
Moreover, you should only let it reheat for about 10-20 seconds. And it should be eaten immediately because it will harden if you let it sit on the countertop.
Another method for reheating bread in the microwave is to wrap the slice twice with moistened paper towels to prevent it from getting dry.
If you’re doing the paper towel method, use the microwave on low to medium power and reheat the bread for about a minute.
It just needs to get warm but no piping hot because it will get chewy when it gets too hot.
6. How to Reheat Bread from the Freezer
All of the above methods for how to reheat bread covered those that have been stored for the short-term either in bread bags, paper bags, in a bread keeper or in the fridge. Just be warned that garlic bread is a clear exception to storing it in the fridge, it will dry it out.
Now, it’s time to see exactly how we should reheat frozen loaves or bagels or buns, etc.
We’ve already covered the fact that toasters with the Defrost button work for slices of bread that are not too thick and for frozen bagels. I’m not going to go over that again.
For frozen loaves, we must defrost them first.
You can do that in the microwave one slice at a time for about 15-25 seconds. But that only works for sliced frozen bread, the same as the toaster.
If you want to defrost whole loaves, place it overnight in the fridge to thaw gradually or let it sit on the countertop for a few hours.
After that, bake it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes.
Or at 380 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 3-5 minutes.
And that’s pretty much all you need to know on how to reheat bread using different methods, you can pick the one that is most convenient for you.