How to Soften French Baguettes

Updated April 17, 2017

A baguette is a type of crusty French bread shaped like a cylinder with a circumference of 4 to 6 in. Its length is usually 1.5 to 2.5ft. It is best to buy freshly baked baguettes at artisan bread stores or grocery stores. Some French breads may prove extraordinarily hard to begin with, meaning that you must do something to soften it when fresh. Alternately, you may have leftover stale French bread that needs softening. The softening method is the same in either case.

Turn the temperature of your oven to 350 °F. Wait approximately 10 to 15 minutes to preheat.

Wrap your baguette tightly inside two layers of aluminium foil.

Place baguettes on the oven-safe pan, and put in the oven.

Remove the bread from the oven after 15 minutes. It retains its crusty edge, but that becomes less abrasive when heated properly. Meanwhile, the inside becomes very soft.

Remove your bread from the oven, and place on top of the stove. Leave the bread to rest in foil for 5 to 8 minutes so that the bread begins to sweat and becomes a bit more moist.

Remove the baguettes from the foil, and serve.


To further soften the bread, dip it in olive oil as you eat, or spread butter on each slice.


Never try to soften a baguette in your microwave. It will become rubbery and impossible to eat.

Things You'll Need

  • Hard baguette, fresh or stale
  • Aluminium foil
  • Oven-safe pan or baking tray that fits the baguette
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About the Author

Christina Lee began writing in 2004. Her co-authored essay is included in the edited volume, "Discipline and Punishment in Global Affairs." Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and politics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Arts in global affairs from American University and a Master of Arts in philosophy from Penn State University.