Tag: Stale Bread

How to Use Up Stale Bread

Using Stale Bread | Serious Crust

Using Stale Bread | Serious Crust
Using Stale Bread | Serious Crust

We all do it. We buy a beautiful loaf of bread to eat with dinner, or to sop in egg custard for breakfast, and then, a few days later it’s looking rather sad. Maybe mildly shriveled, too crusty around the edges. And it doesn’t feel great, knowing that you have half a loaf of kind of inedible bread, knowing how chewy and perfect it was when it was fresh. But it is edible! You just have to have a few stale bread recipes in your back pocket. Here are some of mine:

Make breadcrumbs: Cut the crust off your bread and cut it into chunks, then throw them in the food processor till they’re the right consistency for you. You can either toast them now or throw them in a ziplock back in your fridge – for sooner use – or freezer – for later use. Pull them out later to top your favorite macaroni and cheese (I’m dying to try this one) or this chicken gratin (which I just made and was a big hit).

Ribollita: Stale bread soup may sound odd, but that’s what this is. I love this easy, throw-whatever-you’ve-got-in-the-pot soup. It’s a hearty, delicious meal for colder days.

Croutons: Cube your bread, toss it in some olive oil, and throw it on a sheet pan with a few cloves of smashed garlic and sprigs of thyme. Toast at roughly 350°F for about 8-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to avoid burning.

Bread pudding: If you’ve got more of a sweet tooth, cube your bread, soak it in eggs, sugar, milk, and spices, and bake it for an easy, rustic dessert.

Panzanella: A summertime recipe, panzanella is a great way to use up stale bread and the plethora of tomatoes you may have from your garden. Remove crusts and cube your bread, halve or dice your tomatoes, some cucumber, red onion if you want, and add some crumbled feta or ricotta salata. Top with torn basil and a simple balsamic or red wine vinaigrette.

French onion soup: Not only is French onion soup a great way to use stale bread, it’s also a great way to use any chicken or beef or vegetable stock you might have in the freezer. But let’s be honest, the best part of this soup is the cheesy toast floating on top, soaking up all that delicious broth.

Bread Pudding (and friends to eat it)

Bread Pudding
Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding

About a week ago, Jonah and I bought a mini loaf of sourdough bread at the store because we were going to make garlic bread to eat with our spaghetti. But then we made the spaghetti and forgot about the bread. How silly. And then it sat on our counter for a few days and then it was ROCK HARD.

So I, being all resourceful and all, say “let’s make bread pudding!” I’d never made bread pudding before. In fact, I had rarely eaten it before I studied abroad in London, and when I was younger the idea of it kind of grossed me out. Let’s be honest, bread soaked in milk and eggs and baked in the oven doesn’t sound too appealing does it? After a little searching, I combined a few recipes, adding a few of the typical seasonal spices because really, you can add nutmeg and cloves to anything and it’s delicious, and got started.

Bread Pudding


4 cups cubed white bread (I used a crusty sourdough and a couple slices of whole wheat we had in the fridge)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cube bread and put it in a large bowl. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan, cook over medium heat until the butter is melted. Pour the butter/milk mixture over the bread and let stand for at least 10 minutes (I did a little longer because my bread was really crusty and really stale).

Add the remaining ingredients, mixing well (the spices tend to get kind of clumpy in the eggs, make sure they’re all spread out!). Pour it into a greased baking dish or pan. I used a pie dish because it’s what I had around. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until it’s set in the center.

We called a few friends (Mac, Carmelle, and Courtney) to come over and eat this delicacy with us. While we were waiting (impatiently) for the pudding to cool, Carmelle made some delicious whipped cream. All you need for whipped cream is whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla. Carmelle used my electric mixer, but I have also seen her whip cream by hand, and oh is it impressive. Start whipping the cream, add a little sugar and a little vanilla (think 1 cup cream to 1/4 cup sugar to 1 tsp vanilla), and whip till it holds its peak.

Serve the bread pudding with a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy!