Why is Panera Bread Hard

Why Is Panera Bread So Hard (Explained)

If you’ve enjoyed a meal at Panera Bread you may have chewed on a hard piece of bread and wondered, why is Panera Bread so hard?

At Panera Bread, the most often enjoyed type of bread is a chunk of French Baguette which is often chewy and hard. There are a variety of reasons why this bread is often hard including the ingredients and the natural process of becoming stale.

What Makes Panera Bread So Hard

The classic bread that is served with many of the meals ordered at Panera is a chunk of French Baguette.

French Baguettes have very little fat like oil and butter in the dough which helps moisture stay in the bread and keeps it softer longer.

Is Panera Bread Supposed To Be Hard

Not all of the bread at Panera Bread is supposed to be hard and even the harder types like that baguette are not supposed to be so hard that you can’t eat them without hurting your teeth and jaw while chewing.

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Are Only Some Of Panera Breads Hard

It may seem like all of the bread at Panera Bread is hard because in most cases you are given a chunk of French Baguette which is the hardest bread you can get at Panera Bread.

Most of the bread at Panera Bread is not hard.

What Types Of Panera Bread Are Hard

  • French Baguette Loaf
  • Classic Sourdough Bread
  • Classic Rustic Sourdough Bread
  • Artisan Ciabatta

French Baguette Loaf

The French Baguette is what is given to you when you receive a side of bread with your meal often the soup or salad.

The French Baguette can be very chewy.

Classic Sourdough

Sourdough is known for being a chewy bread with a harder crust.

If you order a soup bowl you will receive sourdough bread, the soup will soften the bread making it easier to chewy but, it also holds up to the task of being a soup bowl.

Artisan Ciabatta

Ciabatta can be a chewy bread that can sometimes be hard, it is a good option for a sandwich with softer ingredients and sauces.

What Types Of Panera Bread Are Soft

  • Sourdough Bread Bowl
  • White Whole Grain
  • Tomato Basil Bread
  • Black Pepper Focaccia
  • Asiago Cheese Focaccia
  • Brioche Roll
  • Classic White Miche

Sourdough Bread Bowl

As mentioned above, sourdough can be very chewy but, the addition of soup makes this bread softer.

White Whole Grain

The White Whole Grain bread is a perfect soft bread choice for sandwiches.

Tomato Basil Bread

The Tomato Basil Bread is my favorite soft bread at Panera for sandwiches, is has a nice slightly sweet flavor that is delicious.

Brioche Roll

Brioche is a classic enriched dough and bread that has a lot of butter in it which helps keep it light and soft.


Foccacia can be chewy but, in most cases, it is still a soft bread, if it is hard it is most likely stale.

Why is Panera Bread so hard

Why Are The Baguettes At Panera Bread So Hard

The baguettes at Panera Bread are hard due to the nature of a baguette and the specific recipe that Panera Bread uses.

Does Stale Bread Get Hard

Stale bread gets hard over time as a natural process of restructuring of the bread within the molecules.

The water within the bread starts to evaporate into the air leaving the bread harder than it was before.

Is Panera Bread Stale

Panera Bread does not start off stale but, it is possible that it may become staler during the day before it is sold.

Can I Make Panera Bread Softer

There are many ways that you can make your bread softer.

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees and wrap your bread in a damp towel, bake it for five to ten minutes.
  2. Wrap your bread in a damp towel and microwave it on high for 10 seconds, repeat if necessary.

Are Panera Baguettes Real French Baguettes

There is some debate over the credibility of the “French Baguettes” offered at Panera Bread.

Many would argue that the baguettes do not resemble real French Baguettes at all.

True French Baguettes are supposed to have a very crispy and hard outer crust with a soft inside.

The baguettes at Panera Bread have a softer outer crust than you would expect and a very dense and chewy inside.

Final Thoughts

You can’t argue that the French Baguettes in particular at Panera Bread are often hard and chewy, it can sometimes feel like a jaw workout trying to eat one.

Luckily, there are other bread options at Panera Bread that have a softer texture if that is what you are interested in.

I personally love the soft and slightly sweet Tomato Basil Bread.

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