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What you Can Make or Do with Stale Bread

Updated on October 6, 2010

When I was a kid, we always tried to save a few pieces of bread without Mom seeing them so that they would go stale. No, we weren't crazy kids that wanted to eat bad bread. We knew that, in our house, stale bread was for the birds. And often, that meant a spontaneous trip to the park with the big pond where we could feed the ducks. But as an adult, I've come to find out that "stale bread" doesn't necessarily mean "bad bread" and that what's good enough for the birds might be good enough for me as well.

Here are some things that you can make with stale bread:

  • Bread pudding. A friend of mine always uses her stale bread to make bread pudding. I don't like the stuff myself but if you're a fan, it's a great use of the bread. I mean, turning stale bread into what's basically a dessert; how much of a better use of old food can you get than that?
  • Croutons. The very first thing that I learned to make with stale bread was croutons. I'm a big fan of croutons because I eat a lot of salads and, let's face it, sometimes plain old lettuce gets a little boring. I don't always have other vegetables to dress it up and I don't like to add a lot of dressing because of the calories. But I normally have some stale bread and some spices in the cabinet, so I can bake up some croutons and dress up the salad with some taste and texture.
  • Dip it in milk. I know, I know, it's not a cookie. But take the bread, fry it or bake it with some cinnamon sugar and then dip it in some milk. Add honey to the milk to make it even more of a treat. You'll think that it's practically a cookie and with a lot less damage to your diet.
  • Stuffing. All of the stale bread that I have around Thanksgiving time always goes into making homemade stuffing. And if I've got enough stale bread lying around at other times of the year, I try to remember that stuffing can be good anytime since it's such a great use of the bread.
  • Use it in a sauce. I only recently found this out, but you can use bread and milk together with spices to make a sauce that will spread well on meats and vegetables. The bread adds some of the texture you need. A blender is helpful here.
  • Warm it up. If what you really want to do with your bread is just eat it, like for a sandwich, and it's only a little bit stale then all you really need to do is warm it up. Steam it or stick it in the microwave and it'll soften enough to be edible. Add butter and you shouldn't have any problems enjoying it.

Even though you can make all of these things with stale bread, you might want to think about setting some aside every now and then to take to the park and feed the birds. It's a great way to get away from it all and so it's just as useful as actually eating the bread yourself!

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  • GoodLady profile image

    Penelope Hart 

    6 years ago from Rome, Italy

    Excellent! I was just going to write about using stale break in cooking but you have it covered really nicely. Think I'll write about what we do in Italy with stale bread, put a 'European' slant on it. We use it a lot, always have.

    Thanks.

    Nice getting to know people on HP a bit more. I just stared up here. In awe of the number of Hubs you have written. Well done.

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