17+ Best Stale Bread Recipes You'll Want to Try (2024)

With these delicious recipes, you will never again throw out stale bread. Here are my favorite 9+ ways to use it up!

Have you ever wondered what to do with stale bread? Even though or especially since you had tried everything to keep your bread fresh? Then you need to check out all my stale bread recipes in this post!

While I may have thrown out old bread in the past, I now actually embrace giving stale bread a new life. In fact, there are a lot of recipes that are better with day-old bread than fresh bread!

In this post, I will share more than 9 of my favorite stale bread recipes.

What is stale bread?

Here is the official definition of stale bread: “Stale breadis dry and hard, making it suitable for different culinary uses than fresh bread” (source: Wikipedia).

It may be different for you but for me, old bread is any type of bread we don’t enjoy eating anymore. In France for example, people don’t even eat their baguettes if they are a day old.

According to www.earth.org, unfortunately, “the most wasted food type in the US is bread”.

Especially if you are on a budget or trying to save money in the kitchen, using stale bread is a great way to cut down expenses and prevent unnecessary food waste.

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Freshen Up Older Bread

Oftentimes, you can freshen up slightly stale bread by spraying some cold water on it and crisping it up in a preheated oven for 5-10 minutes. It won’t stay fresh for days but this is a good way to get more out of a stale loaf of bread or bread rolls. I recommend that you enjoy it on the same day.

To prevent bread from going stale in the first place, you might like to check out my post on how to keep bread fresh. Also, note that sourdough bread typically stays fresh longer than yeast-based bread or bread made with baking powder (or baking soda).

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Fried Bread

You can easily make fried bread. Simply heat up some olive oil in a skillet, add slices of day-old bread, and fry them until golden brown. Our favorite way is to serve them with a green salad but you can use it any way you like!

Make Croutons

I love making croutons! I cut the stale bread into small cubes and toss them with olive oil. I then roast them on a baking sheet until crisp and golden brown. These homemade croutons are so much better than what you can buy in the grocery store!

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Bread Pudding

Making a bread pudding is the ideal way to make use of old bread. You see, dry bread actually soaks up the egg mixture better than fresh bread. You can make all sorts of recipes.

For this simple recipe, I add bread pieces to a baking dish, pour an egg mixture over it, and bake it in the oven until set. In the fall, making a pumpkin sourdough bread pudding is our favorite way to enjoy old sourdough bread. With a dollop of vanilla ice cream, it makes the perfect dessert.

However, you can also make a savory bread pudding. It makes a great breakfast casserole with eggs, sausage, milk, and herbs. I am sure you can even come up with your own bread pudding recipe!

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Make Bread Salad

This is another one of those great stale bread recipes: Italian bread salad. Also called Panzanella, you combine toasted bread cubes with fresh tomatoes, olives, lettuce, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and any other additional ingredients you like. This is actually a very refreshing recipe for a hot summer day!

Homemade Bread Crumbs

Bread crumbs are definitely one of those must-have pantry staples. I like to either dry pieces of stale bread in a warm oven or toast them in a hot oven. Or I cut the bread into small pieces and let them dry in a linen bread bag over a few days. Once completely dry, I use my blender, food processor, or box grater to make bread crumbs.

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If I don’t use them right away, I store them in an airtight container in my pantry. That way I have them ready if I want to bread schnitzels or fish. They also make the perfect crust for a noodle casserole. If you add them to cakes, it makes them moist and stay fresh longer.

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In salmon cakes or crab cakes, dried breadcrumbs help lighten up the consistency. You can also add them to bread dough or even some cake recipes.

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French Toast

Of course, I had to include French toast in this list! Whether you use French bread or Panettone, simply soak slices of bread in a milk-egg mixture and fry them over medium heat in oil or butter until golden brown. All you need is to add some fresh fruit on the side. With a good drizzle of maple syrup or some brown sugar, this easy recipe makes a great breakfast.

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French Onion Soup or Bread Soup

You can make a very hearty soup with either bread slices or bread cubes. In either case, I like to toast them beforehand so they don’t fall apart right away.

In a classic French onion soup, you simply place the bread slice on top of the soup, sprinkle it with plenty of shredded cheese, and melt it under the broiler for a few minutes.

However, you can add toasted bread cubes to a tomato soup or white gazpacho.Simply blending breadcrumbs in a soup makes it extra creamy.

Use It for Stuffing

Fall is usually the time when I like to have toasted bread cubes on hand to make Thanksgiving stuffing. Whether I make my signature sourdough bread stuffing or any other turkey stuffing, these recipes are always better with homemade dried bread.

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Other Creative Recipes:

I love coming up with new ways to use ingredients. One such way is adding bread slices to a baking pan, drizzling them with some melted butter, pouring some leftover pasta sauce on them and some cheese, and baking that in the oven until hot.

If you have stale light bread or bread rolls, you can use them for your German meatballs (Königsberger Klopse) recipe!

What About Moldy Bread?

You might get some conflicting information here. Some people will tell you to absolutely throw out any bread that has mold on it while others will tell you that you are actually growing penicillin there.

I recommend you do your own research and do what you are comfortable with. However, I will tell you that I have had mold on bread that I generously cut away and still ate the rest without any problems.

Do you have comments or questions? I’d love to hear from you!

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