Food experiments are a wonderful thing. It’s how we learned that red wine makes awesome spaghetti and covering egg yolks in salt and sugar for four days leads to ridiculously tasty nuggets of goodness that rival parmesan cheese. (Snack AND lose weight with this box of Prevention-approved treats from Bestowed.)
But even better are food experiments that breathe new life into food that would otherwise go in the trash—like that loaf of bread that’s been sitting on your counter all week. If you’re anything like me, you buy a beautiful, crusty loaf only to eat one chunk and then promptly forget about it until it’s morphed into a rock-hard lump that’s not even fit for soup-dunking. But thanks to the folks at Bon Appétit, you never have to trash another loaf again. They suggest a truly Frankenstein-worthy tip to bring your bread back from the dead. Here’s how it’s done:
Step 1: Turn On the Faucett…and Stick Your Bread In the Water
We know—it sounds disgusting. No one likes soggy bread, right? But trust us, this is just step one. While Bon Appétit says you can use either hot or cold water, we suggest sticking with cold; cooking with or drinking hot tap water ups your risk of lead contamination, according to the CDC. Run the water over the bread until the crust is soaked through, but try to avoid getting the cut side of the bread too wet.
Step 2: Bake It.
Turn your oven to 300 or 325 degrees and pop in your soaked loaf. Bake for 6 to 12 minutes, depending on how wet it is.
So, Does This Really Work?
Yes! The beauty of this experiment is that the water that soaks through the crust turns to steam as it heats up. This rehydrates the bread’s insides, making them fluffy once again, while the heat from the oven crisps up the outside. I went a little overboard with the water, so it took longer than 12 minutes (more like 20), but what came out was a loaf of bread that looked and smelled fresh baked.