Stale, many-days-old bread is a very good thing. I should know — I just developed a dazzling pistachio-raspberry croissant using days-old croissants from the store (like the ones from Costco, Aldi, or Trader Joe’s). Yes, comparatively, a bone-dry loaf of sourdough or a deflated challah bread certainly lacks the charm it had when you picked it up from the bakery, and you couldn’t fathom slathering an untoasted slice with salted butter. But before you toss it in the compost bin, you’ll be pleased to know leftover bread is the perfect ingredient to star in a whole slew of fresh and exciting dishes. Throw cubes into decadent dessert or hearty savory casseroles, blitz them to make pantry staples and sauces, and, hello, haven’t you heard of French toast?
To take a step back, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that you can extend the life of fresh bread using a few clever hacks, such as storage in a designated bread box. Another way to go is to slice a loaf, keep it in the freezer, and only pull out single slices as the craving strikes for fresh toast or grilled cheese sandwiches. What’s more, there are many ways to reheat bread back to life. But sometimes you just want more.
You can’t predict the next time you’ll want to give leftover loaves some TLC, so let’s dive into all of the great recipes that start with stale bread.