The fastest way to soften hard bread is to wrap it in a damp paper towel, and put it in the microwave for about 10 seconds on high heat. The amount of time that it takes to soften the bread will depend on the wattage of the microwave. Weaker microwaves will need longer than those with higher watts. It is important to place the hard bread on a microwave-safe dish to avoid causing any damage to the dish. Also, make sure that the paper towel is not soaking wet, just damp.
The microwave is the fastest way to soften bread, but it is not the only way. Another way to soften hard bread is to use the oven. This method involves preheating an oven to around 200 degrees or at the "warm" setting. Just like with the microwave method, an individual should wrap the bread in a damp paper towel. This is an important step because the damp paper towel helps moisture build up around the bread. Wetting the paper towel before putting it in the oven also helps prevent it from catching fire. Once the oven is preheated, one places the bread on a baking sheet and covers with the damp paper towel. The bread need to be in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes or until the bread is soft.