How to Make Store-Bought French Bread Crispy Again

French bread? Mmm. There’s truly nothing like it. It’s so versatile, which means you can easily use an entire loaf without thinking twice. However, that doesn’t always mean your remaining French bread will have the same desirable consistency as it did when you first purchased it.

If you’re struggling with French bread that’s lost its “crisp” factor, you need to know how to revive it. The easiest way to restore store-bought French bread is to shower it with water and bake it for about 10 minutes at 350F. You can also use your handy-dandy air fryer!

Hey, everyone! Michelle here. And today, we’re talking about something very serious – how to make store-bought French bread crispy again. I can’t stand it when my French bread starts to turn soft, and I’m sure you don’t like it either. 

That said, I’ve prepared two excellent methods for reviving your lackluster loaf.

Who’s ready to crisp-ify their French bread?

2 Ways to Make Store-Bought French Bread Crispy Again

There are two ways to make store-bought French bread crispy again: in the oven and the air fryer. Personally, I enjoy using the air fryer because it doesn’t heat my entire kitchen. Living in sunny Southern California, this is a must 360 out of 365 days a year.

If you don’t own an air fryer, the oven still works like a charm. It doesn’t have to be on for too long, so don’t worry about turning your kitchen into a sauna when trying to crisp up your French bread.

1. In the Oven

The oven is the go-to appliance for crisping up a loaf of French bread. Not only is it easy, but most people own an oven – so there’s no worry about needing to buy any “extras.” Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F. 

Step 2: Wet the loaf of French bread. I know this sounds a little odd, but it’s imperative. Hydrating the loaf will allow it to crisp up the way you want it to. You can run it under your faucet or spritz it with a spray bottle. 

Step 3: Add a little oil (optional). I also like to rub my French bread with a bit of olive oil. This isn’t essential, but I feel it helps with crispness and delightful flavors.

Step 4: Wrap in tin foil. Wrap your loaf of French bread securely with some tin foil. This will trap the steam inside, allowing for perfectly crispy outcomes.

Step 5: Bake for ten minutes. Set your timer for ten minutes and enjoy the aroma of bread filling your kitchen.

Step 6: Remove from the oven (carefully) and enjoy! Eat your newly crisp French bread any way you please.

2. In the Air Fryer

If you own an air fryer, I highly recommend using it to crisp up your French bread. It’s super simple and won’t release too much heat into your kitchen, making it the ideal choice for those hot summer afternoons. Here are the directions:

Step 1: Preheat your air fryer, if necessary, to 350F. Not all air fryers require preheating. I have one that does and one that doesn’t. If you have a model that needs to preheat, set it to 350F.

Step 2: Wet the French bread. As mentioned previously, you want to get your loaf nice and wet.

Step 3: Add some oil, if desired. Rubbing your French bread with some oil can enhance its flavor and crispiness. It’s a win-win!

Step 4: Wrap in tinfoil. Don’t forget to wrap your bread securely!

Step 5: Bake for three minutes. Most French bread will be nice and crispy within three minutes. If yours isn’t, continue to bake in one-minute intervals. Check after each minute until desired crispiness has been reached.

Step 6: Remove from the air fryer and enjoy! Now your bread is perfectly crispy and ready for all of the wonderful recipes you have in store for it.

Why Does Bread Crust Go Soft?

The good news is that it’s easy to make French bread crispy again. But what happened? Why did it go soft in the first place?

The reason the bread crust goes soft is that, over time, the starches of the bread break down, releasing moisture that the crust absorbs. This is especially true – and happens rather quickly – with tightly wrapped bread loaves.

The other issue is where you’re storing your French bread. If it’s in a humid and warm environment, more moisture will be present in the bread, causing the crust to become soft.

How to Avoid French Bread with a Soft Crust

There are a couple of ways you can fend off the infamous soft crust dilemma. 

1. Store it in the Freezer Tightly

Freezing bread isn’t just the best option for long-term storage. It’s also a great way to ward off the soft crust. When storing in the freezer, ensure the French bread is wrapped tightly. You want to lock the moisture inside and keep the freezer burn at bay.

2. Store it Loosely At Room Temp

Storing French bread in the freezer can be a pain. After all, you will need to thaw it before it’s ready to be consumed, which can be a bit of a pain when those bread cravings hit.

Another option? Store your French bread at room temp loosely. While you don’t want to leave your French bread sitting out with zero protection, too tight of a wrap can cause the crust to go soft. Opt for a loosely closed bag that will allow moisture to escape from the loaf.


There you have it! The top techniques for making French bread crispy again, plus some helpful information about how to avoid soft crust in the first place. Here are a couple more frequently asked questions to which you might want to know the answers.

How do you revive a hard baguette?

Are you struggling with a rock-hard baguette (or a loaf of French bread)? Then you will want to use your microwave to soften it up. Simply wrap the loaf in a wet paper towel and microwave in 10-second intervals until you’re satisfied with the texture.

What can I do with a stale French baguette?

Did your French bread go stale? Don’t toss it! Instead, utilize it in an all-new and delicious way. One of my favorite uses for stale French bread is to turn it into breadcrumbs, which I then use for various recipes, from meatballs to salmon cakes. You can also make a tasty bread pudding!

How do you heat up French bread with butter?

French bread with butter is a delectable dish served as a side or a midnight snack. To make it, simply slather some butter on the slice of French brand and bake it in a preheated oven (350F) for about ten minutes. You can also use the air fryer at 400F for a few minutes.

Soft French Bread is Easy to Revive!

Restoring the notorious crispy crust of French bread is a cinch. I love to use the air fryer, but the oven is another great option. Always get the loaf wet and wrap it before baking. You can also rub some oil on the exterior to enhance the crispiness and flavor.

How do you make your store-bought French bread crispy again? Share your secrets to success with us!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

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