10 Smart Ways to Get More Life Out of Your Stale Bread

published Aug 25, 2014
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Sometimes I buy a baguette or a loaf of sourdough, brioche, or ciabatta, and for one reason or another, it doesn’t get finished. I always have good intentions of storing the extras in the freezer for later. But all too often I forget and a day or two later I have a loaf of stale bread on my hands.

If you find yourself in the same position, instead of tossing it, try these great ways to get more life out of your stale bread.

1. Breadcrumbs

DIY breadcrumbs are super easy to make and always useful to have on hand. Plus, homemade breadcrumbs are always the best.

2. Croutons

Croutons are the perfect accompaniment to soups & salads. Plus, you won’t believe how easy they are to make at home.

3. Panzanella Salad

One of the key components of this simple summer salad is, in fact, stale bread.

4. French Onion Soup

A slice of stale bread is perfect for soaking up the beefy, oniony soup and holding up the cheese.

5. Fondue

Stale bread is great for sopping up hot, gooey cheese, and the liquids in the fondue will soften the bread.

→ Fondue: Tricks of the Trade

6. Bread Pudding

Whether you’re up for a sweet dessert or a savory side dish, stale bread is the winning force behind an excellent bread pudding.

7. French Toast

We actually prefer a slightly stale loaf to a fresh one when it comes to French toast. Always an easy and delicious breakfast.

8. Panade

Panade is a delicious, rustic casserole made with stale bread and leftover vegetables.

9. Ribollita

The quintessential Tuscan winter soup made from bread and hearty vegetables.

10. Stuffing

Stuffing isn’t just for Thanksgiving! Stale bread is the perfect excuse (not that you need one) to make this delicious comfort food.

What’s your favorite way to use stale bread?

Updated from a post originally published July 2010.