How to heat up already baked french bread in oven to get a crispy crust
Where I live I do not have access to great quality bakery breads. Is there a way to heat up an already baked french sandwich baguette in oven to get a crispy outer texture? Water mist on top before baking, egg wash etc?
Not an answer, but basic grocery store type bakery sections will often have "Italian" breads that are more or less identical to their "French" breads apart from having crispier crusts.
In my experience you have 3 choices. Lightly spray with water, oil of your liking (olive, canola, grapeseed, or sunflower not vegetable, and lastly, my favorite, brush on lightly sweet unsalted butter. Preheat your over to 350 degrees F (give or take 25 degrees) and do not keep in oven more than 5-7 minutes depending on how round your bread loaf is. Another idea is to slice the bread, spread lightly with unsalted sweet butter and bake for 1-5 minutes in preheated oven 350 degrees F and keep a very close eye on anything you do with all these suggestions because you don't want to end up with croutons. Good Luck and realize I myself would bake my own suggestions starting with less time, let's say 1 minute first, check then add a minute, etc.
IMHO If the bread was never frozen, the moisture from the crumb has infiltrated the crust and left the crumb drier. So the best bet is to put it in a moist oven for 5 minutes. Just use a spray bottle to squirter the sides and back of a 350 degree oven as you put the loaf in. If it is already cut (partial loaf) I cover the end with foil.
If you froze the bread, I have good luck microwaving 20 or more seconds depending on the size then finish in a hot oven to crisp it up.
As my dad said..."I don't love bread, I revere it". I couldn't agree more.