Today I am writing about the titillating topic of stale bread. I have used stale bread back in my nonfrugal days for stuffing my turkey or chicken. I never knew what other really money saving and easy ways to utilize it.
The reason I am writing this is I have a loaf of homemade white bread that I forgot to add salt to the dough as I made it. YUCK! If you haven’t made this mistake then let me tell you it is just sad. The salt added flavor and is without it is just a moist cracker. Eww.
The bread is now very stale and I decided I needed to get rid of it as mold is just beginning to show on the top. I can’t stomach throwing it out or feeding to the birds. I have decided to cut the mold off and make something with the rest. This got me thinking of what things can I make with stale bread.
Since become the frugal person I am, I have come to realize that there are many ways to use leftover or stale bread. I think you could even use left over dinner rolls, hamburger buns, and french or cuban bread.
1. Bread crumbs. This was an easy one. One that I never even thought of. I would mindlessly buy a container of bread crumbs and grumble about how dumb it was that I was purchasing something I should be able to make. The first few times I made bread crumbs I did not toast them. Didn’t even know I could. One day I was watching one of the PBS cooking shows and they showed how. I really didn’t follow along except to realize you could place the crumbs in an oven. Basically, you take the left over bread, and chop it in a food processor until you get the desired crumb. Put in a shallow pan in a single layer and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.
- 1/4 of a loaf of bread
- italian seasoning or any other seasoning you would like. Not much maybe 1 tsp. This is optional. All you really need is the bread.
Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until the desired color of brown.
2. French Toast! The king of breakfasts according to my kids. We have great stories of living on the farm and the kids asking for me to make french toast. I’d send them out looking for eggs since we lived on a farm. You can use French bread, Cuban bread, white bread, and whole wheat bread. The consistency will be a little different.
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup of milk, whole, skim, almond, it doesn’t matter
- 1/4 cup of sugar. Do this to taste. Some people like it sweeter and others, less
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon, optional, but I just can’t imagine French Toast without it.
- 10 to 12 slices of bread.
Preheat griddle to 350.
add eggs, milk, and sugar. Whisk until well blended. Take each piece of bread and put into egg mixture, Let soak for a moment and turn over to other side and let soak for a moment more. Place on griddle and repeat with each piece of bread. This will be done when the egg is golden brown.
3. Croutons. Yes those boxes of croutons that you buy at the store that are hard like rocks can be made at home. They are Delicious on salads.
Salad or Soup Croutons
- a loaf of stale bread. You can use lesser amounts as I will.
- olive oil
- Italian seasoning, Herbs de Provence,or other herbs of choice. Oregano, basil, marjoram, etc this is optional.
- Parmesan cheese , optional
Preheat over to 400 F.
Cut up bread into little uniform cubes. Place cubes into a medium bowl. Drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs if using. Place in a shallow baking pan in one layer. No cube should be touching. Sprinkle cheese on now if using.
Bake for 15 minutes. For use in salads, soups and to make stuffing.
4. Stuffing. I love making stuffing. You don’t need croutons or boxes of mixes.
Sue’s Stuffing Not sure where it came from, but I have been making variations of this for years.
- 1 loaf of stale bread
- 1 cup of onions chopped.
- 1 stalk of celery chopped fine
- 1 cup of mushrooms chopped
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 to 2 tsp poultry seasoning
- salt and pepper
Tear bread into small pieces and place in large pot or bowl. What ever will hold it.
Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add onions, celery, and mushrooms and simmer until veggies are soft. Remove from heat and add poultry seasoning. Add salt and pepper to tastes. Pour over bread and stir until mixed. Mixture will still be dry. Add chicken broth until entire bread mixture is moist. You should use a cup of broth at this time. Place into rear cavity of chicken or turkey or you can place in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
When placing in dish you need to pour the rest of the broth on top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Other wise just stuff and bake as usual.
5. Bread pudding could be made. Haven’t made that in years, but my kids loved it.
6. You can use the stale bread for feeding birds. If you live on a farm and raise chickens, ducks, or pigs, you can feed the stale bread to them. Just tear into smaller pieces for the birds, chickens or ducks.
While researching this topic I found all kinds of ways to use stale bread, but they include things like soup, meatloaf, and other ideas that in my opinion incorporate the above ideas mentioned. You use bread crumbs in meatloaf and croutons in french onion soup.
One other thing you can do to make it “fresh” again is to reheat. I usually make toast out of it if it isn’t that stale.