Friday, June 15, 2012

Use It Up: Stale Bread

Many things are tossed into the garbage can when they still have lots of good life left in them. Use It Up is a section on how to use this "trash" to make new, useful items for your home or to re-purpose items to avoid a purchase.

I love a good loaf of artisan bread either made from scratch or purchased at my favorite local bakery. Since my bread isn't packed with all sorts of gross preservatives, it gets stale quickly. Given the higher cost of good bread or the loving hours spent baking it, I don't want to let a crumb go to waste. Fortunately, there are a ton of amazing dishes to be made with bread, and they work best with slightly stale bread.

French toast is a common stale bread recipe, but that doesn't mean it isn't wonderful. Beat together egg, milk, a pinch of sugar and a dash of vanilla extract. Coat each side of the bread with the egg mixture and fry in a skillet. To serve, top with butter and syrup. For a truly decadent breakfast, add a pinch of brown sugar and sprinkle with berries or toasted walnuts.

Bread pudding is a favorite in my household. It is decadent fresh out of the oven or cold from the refrigerator over the next couple of days. When I have company, I like to make bread pudding for dessert. As soon as it comes out of the oven, I place individual servings into a bowl and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. To make just tear up bread into bite-sized pieces until you have four cups of bread. Heat 2 cups of milk or half and half with 1/4 cup of butter. Mix with bread; add 1/2 cup of sugar (brown or white), 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a bit of vanilla extract. Bake at 375 degrees until it is set in the middle. You can add raisins or other dried fruit if you like.

Toad in a hole (also known as eggs in the basket) is a fun breakfast I used to make as a kid. Cut a circle out of the center of a slice of bread. Butter one side of the bread in a pan and brown lightly. Crack an egg into the hole and cook until set. 

Croutons are great for snacking or to add to soups and salads. My quick and easy recipe is to cut bread into cubes and toss with just enough Italian dressing to coat. Spread onto a sheet pan and sprinkle with the herbs of your choice. Bake at 350 degrees until it is browned on the sides.

To make bread crumbs for topping casseroles or to coat chicken, toast thin slices of bread. Toss into the blender and pulse until it is fine.

Garlic toast is a great side for pasta or soup. Butter and sprinkle with garlic salt. Place under the broiler until browned.

Lyn on Facebook shares....Our animals here in Spain love our old bread even the cats. I soften it with water

Feel free to comment with your favorite ways to use stale bread.

Shared with:
Wildcrafting Wednesday

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The Self Sufficient HomeAcre

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  1. Another use for any bread (old or fresh) is to stop bleeding. Just press a piece against any nicks or cuts (after cleaning) and it helps the bleeding stop.

  2. We never throw away stale bread around here either :) I use organic sugar or honey in place of regular sugar for health reasons.

    Thanks for sharing this on Wildcrafting Wednesday :)

    I would also love to have you link your post up to The HomeAcre Hop on Thursday. You can find it on my blog The Self Sufficient HomeAcre at:

    1. Thank you for joining The HomeAcre Hop!

  3. I cube bread and place it on a cookie sheet and place it in a cold oven to dry completely. I use it for a DIY Stove Top stuffing. Another use from the Old Country: soak stale 1/2 cubes in milk and mix in with ground beef when making meatballs or the filling for stuffed cabbage or stuffed peppers. Stretches the meat and the bread soaks in some of the beef fat so the filling does not end up dry,
    Using up the old bread feels like getting something from nothing--gotta love it!

  4. Bread pudding; cut bread in bite-size cubes, freeze and when you have about 8 cups , make some bread pudding. There are dozens of recipes on line. This time of year with apples aplenty how about an apple with caramel sauce. Yummy. Bread pudding is a great dessert, snack or breakfast.


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