Steaming Dried Baked Goods

The other day, while preparing to bake some cornbread, I peeked in the oven to make sure there was nothing in there before I preheated it. I found forgotten treasure: some scones Michelle had made a week before!

We welcomed the unexpected bounty of the next morning’s breakfast suddenly arranged, but soon realized that the scones had dried out considerably as they sat, neglected, in the oven.

No problem. Michelle took care of it with this simple process, a variation on the steaming we do instead of microwaving when we want a fast, hot meal without drying it out (see Fast Cooking: Steam Vs. Microwave):

The inside of the pan arranged (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

She half filled a metal measuring cup with water, and carefully placed it within a piece of aluminum foil inside one of our lidded cast iron pans. She placed scones in around it, closed up the foil, and put the lid on the pan. She then heated it on the stove for a while.

steaming stale baked goods

The foil closed up, ready for the pan lid and heating (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

The water in the measuring cup steamed, moistening and softening the scones as they heated. When they’d reached the right levels of warmth and softness, we removed them and ate them.

We knew, in our former, on-grid life, that stale baked goods could be rejuvenated by placing them in a brown paper bag, moistening the bag with water, and putting it in the microwave for a few minutes. We did the same thing, minus the microwave, with foil rather than paper.

When they came out, they were asĀ  hot and moist as if they’d just finished baking the first time. Simple, easy, and nearly as fast as a microwave.


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