6 Ways to Soften Hard Brown Sugar
If you’ve ever reached for your brown sugar, only to find it’s turned into a hardened, unusable lump, you know how frustrating it can be. Brown sugar hardens as it dries out, making it difficult to store and utilize. But don’t worry – there are quick and easy ways to soften your brown sugar again and keep it that way. Here are six methods to help you get your brown sugar back in working order.
1. Microwave Method
For a quick fix, place the hardened brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave the bowl on high for 20-30 seconds, checking the sugar after each interval and repeat if necessary until the sugar is softened. Be cautious not to overheat the sugar, which could cause melting or create uneven softening.
2. Slice of Bread Trick
Another way to return softness to brown sugar is by using a slice of bread. Simply place a piece of fresh bread on top of the hardened sugar in an airtight container and let it sit overnight. The moisture from the bread will transfer to the sugar, softening it as it does so.
3. Apple Method
Similar to the bread trick, using apple slices can also help add moisture back into dried-out brown sugar. Place one or two apple slices in an airtight container with the hardened sugar and let them sit overnight or for a day or two. The moisture from the apple will transfer to the sugar, making it soft again.
4. Terra-Cotta Discs
Terra-cotta discs are specifically designed for keeping brown sugar moist and soft when properly stored. Soak the disc in water for 15 minutes, dry excess water from its surface, then place it in an airtight container with the hard brown sugar. The terra-cotta disc will release its moisture slowly into the sugar, softening it over time.
5. Steam Softening
If you have a steamer, you can use it to gently soften your hard brown sugar. Add water to the steamer and place a heat-safe bowl with the hardened sugar inside. Steam over low heat for a few minutes, stirring periodically, until the sugar reaches your desired consistency.
6. Preventative Storage
Make sure to store your brown sugar properly in future to avoid hardening. Store brown sugar in an airtight container with minimal airspace and avoid exposing it to humidity or direct sunlight. You may also keep bread, apple slices, or terra-cotta discs in the container as a precautionary measure to maintain moisture.
These six simple methods can help you turn that hardened lump of brown sugar back into its soft and usable state. With proper storage and care, this common kitchen problem can be easily prevented, allowing your brown sugar to stay fresh and handy for all your cooking and baking needs.