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Reheat Stale Bread: Tips & Recipes to Make it Like New


Bread often goes stale if not consumed quickly after being baked. However, you can easily reheat bread and restore its fresh taste and texture. This article provides instructions on the best ways to reheat bread using a microwave, oven, air fryer or toaster oven.

Microwave Method

The microwave provides a quick and easy way to reheat bread.

  • Unwrap the bread and place it directly on the microwave turntable. Avoid using plastic wrap or bags as they can melt.
  • Microwave the bread for 10-30 seconds at a time until warmed through. The time will depend on the size and type of bread.
  • Check the bread after each interval to ensure it does not get too hot or dry out.
  • Allow to sit for 1 minute before serving, as the center may still be slightly cool.

The microwave method works best for individual rolls, slices of bread or bread buns. Larger loaves may parch and dry out.

Oven Method

The oven allows you to reheat bread slowly and evenly.

  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Place bread directly on the oven rack or on a baking sheet. Do not use plastic bags or foil.
  • Heat bread for 4-6 minutes until warmed through.
  • Check frequently to prevent burning or drying.
  • Allow to cool slightly before serving, as the interior will be very hot.

The oven method can be used for all types and sizes of bread, including rolls, slices, halves and whole loaves.

Air Fryer Method

  • Pre-heat air fryer to 300°F.
  • Cut bread into smaller pieces or slices to fit air fryer basket.
  • Place bread pieces in single layer in air fryer basket. Do not overcrowd.
  • Cook for 2-5 minutes, shaking basket halfway through. Check often to prevent burning.
  • Allow to cool briefly before serving. The interior will be very hot.

The air fryer gives bread a crispy exterior and warm, moist interior. It works well for croissants, rolls, slices of crusty bread and bread buns.

Toaster Oven Method

  • Pre-heat toaster oven to 300°F.
  • Place bread directly on the rack. Do not use bags or foil.
  • Toast bread for 2-5 minutes until warmed through. Check frequently to prevent burning.
  • Allow to sit for 1-2 minutes before removing and serving.

The toaster oven gives great results for rolls, slices of bread and smaller items. Larger loaves may not fit.

Tips for Reheating Bread

  • Do not reheat whole loaves of bread longer than 10 minutes or the exterior will be too crisp while the middle is still cool. Smaller pieces reheat more evenly.
  • Wrap just baked bread in aluminum foil and a towel to allow the interior to steam and stay soft while the crust cools.
  • Avoid using plastic bags or foil to reheat bread directly as they can melt, steam the bread and make it soggy.
  • Check bread frequently when reheating. Remove pieces as they are warmed through.
  • Allow bread to cool briefly before eating, as the interior will be extremely hot.
  • Bread reheated in the microwave may seem soft initially but will crisp up after sitting 1-2 minutes.


What is the best way to reheat bread to restore crispness?

The best way is to place the bread in the oven at 300°F for 3-5 minutes. The dry heat will help crisp up the exterior.

Can you reheat bread in the microwave?

Yes, you can reheat bread in the microwave. Place it on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 15-30 seconds at a time until warmed through. The texture may become a bit rubbery though.

Is it better to reheat bread wrapped in foil or paper towels?

It’s better to use paper towels when reheating bread in the oven. Foil will make the crust soggy. Paper towels allow moisture to escape and the crust to crisp up.

How do you store leftover bread for reheating?

Store bread at room temperature in a paper bag folded over to enclose it. This prevents it from drying out too quickly. It will keep for 2-3 days. For longer storage, freeze it.

Can you reheat bread in an air fryer?

Yes, an air fryer works great for reheating bread! Cut the bread into slices or cubes and air fry at 350°F for 2-5 minutes until crispy. Spray with oil for more crispness.

Does reheated bread taste as good as fresh?

While reheated bread won’t be exactly the same as fresh, if you use a method like the oven or air fryer to crisp the exterior, it can taste very close to freshly baked bread.


  • French Toast – Dip bread slices in egg mixture and fry in butter or oil until browned on both sides. Top with syrup, fruit, etc.
  • Bread Pudding – Combine cubed bread with milk, eggs, sugar, spices, raisins, etc. Bake in oven until set.
  • Strata – Layer cubed bread with cheese, meat, vegetables, herbs in a baking dish. Whisk eggs with milk or cream and pour over bread. Refrigerate overnight then bake.
  • Croutons – Toss bread cubes with olive oil or melted butter, garlic powder, salt, pepper. Bake at 400F until browned and crispy.
  • Bread Crumbs – Pulse dry bread in a food processor into fine crumbs. Use to coat chicken, fish, veal cutlets, etc.
  • Stuffing/Dressing – Combine bread cubes with broth, vegetables, herbs and seasonings. Bake in oven until browned.
  • Skordalia – Greek dip made by pureeing stale bread with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, potatoes. Serve with fish or vegetables.
  • Bread Salad – Dice bread and toss with tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, vinegar, fresh herbs. Chill before serving.
  • Bruschetta – Grill or toast bread slices, then top with a mixture of chopped tomato, basil, olive oil, garlic.
  • Ribollita – Italian “re-boiled” soup made with stale bread, vegetables, beans, pasta. Simmer to desired thickness.

Specific Toaster Oven, Air Fryer, Toaster, Microwave, Bread Maker Recommendations

Toaster Ovens:

  • Breville Smart Oven
  • Cuisinart Chef’s Convection Toaster Oven
  • Panasonic FlashXpress
  • Hamilton Beach Countertop Oven
  • Oster Digital Stainless Steel Toaster Oven

Air Fryers:

  • Cosori Air Fryer Max XL
  • Ninja Foodi Digital Fry Oven
  • Instant Vortex Air Fryer Oven
  • Philips Premium Airfryer XXL
  • Chefman TurboFry Air Fryer Oven


  • Dualit 2-Slice NewGen Toaster
  • Smeg 2-Slice Retro Toaster
  • KitchenAid 2-Slice Pro Line Toaster
  • Breville Bit More 2-Slice Toaster
  • All-Clad 2-Slice Slow Cook Toaster


  • Toshiba EM925A5A-BS
  • Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN686S
  • Toshiba EM131A5C-BS
  • GE JES1072SHSS
  • Sharp R1874T 850W

Bread Makers:

  • Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso Plus BB-PDC20
  • Cuisinart CBK-110 Breadmaker
  • Breville BBM800XL Custom Loaf Bread Maker
  • Hamilton Beach 2 lb Digital Breadmaker
  • Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine

With the proper technique, you can easily reheat leftover bread and restore it to its original freshness using your microwave, oven, air fryer or toaster oven. Follow these guidelines for warm, delicious bread anytime.

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