There are few sadder moments in life than going to the kitchen to make yourself a delightful sandwich, or two, only to find your airy, spongy loaf of bread has turned staler than your morning breath after a night of tequila shots.
Having your bread go bad doesn’t only dash your glorious sandwich dreams, but having to throw out any kind of food before you get the chance to eat it is a huge waste of produce and your hard-earned dollars.
There isn’t much you can do to salvage certain foods when they move beyond ‘edible’ (oh cucumbers, you pathetic perishables) but mercifully your sad, rock-hard loaf can be resuscitated. And you don’t even need the surgical skills of Grey’s Anatomy‘s Cristina Yang to make it happen; according to the team at Bon Appetit magazine, all you need to give your bread a second life is a working tap, an oven, and one ingenious trick.
We’re warning you now, you’re going to find this first step deeply confronting: you need to grab that loaf and stick it under some running water. Yep. Bread. In water. On purpose.
This seems so wrong, and in any other context it absolutely would be; but for the purposes of breathing life back into your Burgen it's crucial. Ideally, you should have the cut-away side of the bread facing away so it's mostly the crust under the stream, but it's okay to get the insides wet too.
Once your beloved has showered to your satisfaction, stick it in an oven pre-heated to roughly 150-160 degrees Celsius, or use the 'warm' function if you have one. The loaf needs to stay in the oven for around six to seven minutes unless you completely saturated it, in which case it might need up to 12 minutes.
When the time's up, your bread will be back to its delicious, moist, crunchy-crusted self, and you can go forth and whip up the BLAT or salt-and-vinegar-chip-and-butter sambo (no judgement) you so desire.
Or you could try one of these mouth-watering bread creations from Instagram user Wiktoria Banda (post continues after gallery).
This all sounds like witchcraft, right? As Bon Appetit explains: "The water turns to steam, which rehydrates the bread’s crumb, or interior, while the heat of the oven firms up the crust."
Take note: although it's clearly not worth crying over stale bread, this trick doesn't work for mouldy loaves. Not much will, so you probably shouldn't be eating those.
Maybe stick your bread in the freezer next time, yeah?
What do you usually do with stale bread?
Also, if you need even more incentive to eat bread, it's better for you than you realise...