Warm bread is a definite crowd-pleaser. Certain types of bread call for a crispy crust while others are meant to have a soft texture, and this is important to remember when heating a loaf or slices.
How to Warm Bread
For soft breads like potato and cinnamon swirl, wrapping them in foil keeps moisture in and helps maintain soft crusts. Wrap the bread tightly and put it in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 to 10 minutes.
Artisan loaves, baguettes and French bread are best with crisp crusts. Warm these in a paper bag. Wet the bag to keep the interior of the bread from getting hard; when the bag dries out, the crust turns crispy. Here's how to do it:
- Place the loaf in a brown paper bag and twist the ends tightly. Do not use a bag with any plastic attached to it.
- Wet the bag by spraying it with water from a spray bottle or by running it briefly under running water from the faucet.
- Put the bread in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the bag begins to smell like popcorn.
Keeping Bread Warm
There are a few options to keep bread warm at the table. Lay a large, heavy cloth napkin or dishtowel over a basket or bowl and place the warm whole loaf or slices inside. Fold the edges of the napkin up over the bread. You can also use a commercial bread bag made from heavy fabric. A ceramic or terra cotta bread warmer can be placed in the bottom of a warming bag or beneath a bread basket.