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At Your Disposal – Stale Bread

Each year, Americans waste an estimated 160 billion pounds of food — enough to fill the Rose Bowl to the brim, according to Jonathan Bloom, author of “American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of its Food (and What We Can Do About It).”  About 40 percent of waste come from the home, he found.
So, that is what this series is all about.  Keeping a little more of that good food {and hard earned money} out of the trash!  So, this week’s post is all about what to do with stale bread.  We’ve all got it.  Bread that is no longer soft and spongy – past its prime.  But, as long as it hasn’t molded, it can still be made into perfectly good dishes!
First, to keep bread to going stale – If you know you aren’t going to eat it all before it goes stale, pop it in the freezer.  That way it will be fresh {not molded} when you need some bread for a dish.  But, we aren’t always proactive are we?  So the bread goes stale on the counter… now what?
  • Make Toast.  Bread that isn’t soft anymore still makes perfectly great toast.  Top with cheese, cinnamon sugar, or peanut butter and you’ve got a great breakfast on the run.
  • Make French Toast. French Toast is actually better when you make it with day old, or stale bread.  The bread is firmer, so it doesn’t fall apart when you dip it into the custard {milk and eggs}
  • Make Croutons. This is especially good for stale french bread.  Cube up the bread, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher {course} salt and any other spices you like {such as garlic powder} and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Make Bread Crumbs. Lots of dishes call for breadcrumbs – chicken parmesan, meatballs, meatloaf, topping for casseroles, etc.  Why pay for breadcrumbs when you can make your own from stale bread.  Just place you bread into the food processor and whir until you have bread crumbs!  I store mine in a freezer safe plastic container {or bag), label and pop into the freezer so they are ready to use whenever!
  • Crazy Bread.  My mom used to use up leftover hotdog and hamburger buns by serving them toasted with butter and garlic powder {like garlic bread} with dinner.  Delicious with pasta.
  • Make Individual Pizzas. Got leftover french bread or hamburger buns?  Let the kiddos help make their own lunch.  Spread a little marinara sauce and cheese {and other toppings if you’ve got them on hand} to make individual pizzas.
  • Bird/Duck Food. Pop it in the freezer and save it for a fun day at the park.  It makes for some great, cheap fun with your little ones. =)

What are some other uses for stale bread that you have up your sleeve?

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  1. I started a new practice earlier this week that kind of ties in with this post. Noah doesn’t like to eat the crusts on his bread, so I always end up cutting them off. I had read a tip that you should cut them off before you make the sandwich and put them in a big baggie in the freezer so you can make breadcrumbs out of them instead of just trashing them. Since my child lives on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, I already have enough breadcrumbs to make about 10,432 meatballs! :)

  2. Hey Melanie- add them to left over corn bread and make a pan of chicken dressing! That will leave you enough to make 5,432 meatballs-LOL

  3. This is what we make with stale french bread. It is bread soup. Rachel Ray’s recipe is the best for it.

    And it is all canned ingredients that you can get on sale except for the cheese, basil and onion.

    My whole family loves it when I make it.


  4. Linda Lubbesmeyer says:

    OK…this totally reinforces me! These are all things, with the exception of the breadcrumbs, that we’ve done with our old bread. And I think the breadcrumbs can be worked into the mix (ha ha) too. Love this post! Thanks so much.

  5. Here is a twist on your hot dog pizza buns. Open bun, spread with butter/margarine, sprinkle shredded mozz cheese on top, add 4 to 6 pieces of pepperoni. Bake 425 5-7 minutes. Break the buns apart and dip into pizza/spaghetti sauce to eat. We call them Italian Dunkers. This recipe is from my son’s high school. The kids there love them.

  6. I think bread tastes terribly stale once it’s been in the freezer- but we save ours for duck food.

    • Denisesawyer says:

      I agree – totally. I can always tell when bread has been frozen. That is why I don’t use it as is (on sandwiches, etc). However, I can’t tell it has been frozen when I use them as bread crumbs in meatballs and meatloaf. If you haven’t tried this you should give it a try!

  7. I would only use bread for duck feed rarely as it can make waterfowl quite ill. Much better to feed them duck pellets or peas and leave the bread for croutons or compost.

  8. Bread pudding is a great way to use stale bread. My favorite recipe is from Paula Deen:


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