A common dilemma in the kitchen is hard brown sugar.You decide to start baking, you gather all your supplies, pull out the bag of brown sugar and discover it's hard as a rock. You try to break it apart by hitting it on the counter and squeezing the lumps between your fingers to crush the pieces, but nothing works. Fortunately, there are easy and cost-effective ways to prevent your brown sugar from turning into an unusable block.
Place your brown sugar in an airtight container. Most brown sugar comes in a plastic bag and should be transferred immediately into a resealable container. A glass canning jar with a seal, a plastic container with a lid or any other resealable containers or canisters will help keep your brown sugar from hardening.
Put a slice of bread in with the sugar. The moisture from the bread will keep your sugar soft. Because the bread will eventually harden, replace it every three to four days. The bread will not mold.
Place a dampened paper towel or cloth in with your brown sugar. Make sure the cloth or paper towel is not dripping wet and either place it directly on top of the sugar or on top of a piece of foil and sealed in the sugar container. Change the paper towel or cloth every 24 to 48 hours.
Place a few apple slices in with the sugar. The apple slices moisten the brown sugar, and, if the sugar is hard, the apple will soften the sugar, usually within 24 hours.
Insert a clay disc designed especially to soften brown sugar. The discs can be found at kitchen supply stores or online. Soak the disc in water for 15 to 30 minutes, dry off any excess water and place the disc in the sealed container with your sugar. You will need to check the sugar every week or two, but generally the discs need to be resoaked every three to four months.