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Stale Bread Recipes - Delicious ways to use your old bread

Updated on February 13, 2015
Bread and butter pudding is delicious hot or cold
Bread and butter pudding is delicious hot or cold | Source
5 stars from 1 rating of these bread recipes

Use up that stale bread

Waste not want not! Please don't throw that stale bread away - make something new and delicious with your left-over and old bread using these stale bread recipes.

Brought up by parents who lived through the Second World War and had experienced the limitations, frustrations and deprivations of rationing, we heard this little piece of advice repeated often. Now an adult, I don't have to 'make do and mend', but have come to believe that in a world just piling up the rubbish and trash, we have an almost moral duty to try to cut waste.

I try to put this into practice at Les Trois Chenes, our French farmhouse guest house, gite (or self-catering cottage) in Videix, Limousin, France. The breakfasts generate quite a lot of waste bread as we like to give our guests lots of choice and a nice, generously full basket of bread, so I just love transforming this bread into delicious new dishes with these old-fashioned puddings recipes and serve them on Limoges porcelain plates to give the dishes that extra bit of local interest.

I also try to stay 'green' and do my bit for good food and ecology by keeping our own totally free range hens for fresh eggs and our own bees for honey. No food miles there!. We have all kinds of fruit trees for our homemade jams and a potager where we grow fresh, 'fairly' organic vegetables and these we serve to our Bed and Breakfast guests. All these good foods are ingredients that can go into our old bread recipes.

Remember, you can find more of our recipes in my work-in-progress Les Trois Chenes Cookbook

'Ghosts on toast' is really just poached eggs on toast but kids who won't eat the latter will go wild for the former!
'Ghosts on toast' is really just poached eggs on toast but kids who won't eat the latter will go wild for the former! | Source

Toast is the quintessential way to use up stale bread

What could be simpler? Slice your old bread, pop it into the toaster or under the grill and what do you have? a delicious, hot, crunchy snack. Now, slather that in butter (fat is now good for you) and top it with honey or home made jam.


Put your slice of toast in soup. Toast the left-over bread, peel a clove of garlic and rub the clove all over the toast. Put your toast in the soup bowl and pour over the soup. Gorgeous!

That slice of toast can also be chopped into cubes and put onto your soup as croûtons.

Toast by Nigel Slater

Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger
Toast: The Story of a Boy's Hunger
This is the autobiography of celebrity TV chef, Nigel Slater, told through food. Read about the importance of food in the Nigel Slater's childhood and reminisce with him about foods of times gone by. I loved this book - a great read that really feeds the soul.
Fabulous Bread and Butter pudding looking a treat in the late afternoon Limousin sunshine
Fabulous Bread and Butter pudding looking a treat in the late afternoon Limousin sunshine | Source

Bread and Butter Pudding

The best know of all the stale bread recipes, and rightly so! This is such a quick and easy recipe to make, versatile and easy to dress up for a special occasion.

Serve hot as a pudding, or cold as a dessert or cake.

Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

French toast served as a dessert
French toast served as a dessert | Source

French toast recipe: sweet or savoury

Quick, cheap, versatile, easy and the kids love it. I was served French Toast in a French restaurant as dessert, so frugal it might be but second rate it isn't!

Make French toast (the french call it 'pain perdu' or lost bread) as a savoury snack, or for breakfast, a light lunch or as a side dish for a light supper. French Toast Recipe

Summer pudding
Summer pudding | Source

Summer pudding can be almost free!

Make summer pudding out of surplus or slightly stale white sliced bread. If you forage for berries all you have to pay for is a little sugar and a bit of fuel to cook. For the pudding in the photograph I collected wild blackberries or brambles. You can add any other edible wild berries to it.

Traditionally it would be made with a mixture of red, summer fruits: strawberries, raspberries, blue berries and brambles.

Summer Pudding Recipe

My winter version of summer pudding
My winter version of summer pudding | Source

My winter version of summer pudding

This is my own spicy, winter version of summer pudding. It's made the same way but using winter and dried fruits, apple, figs, raisins, prunes, medlar, dates spiced with ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, laced with a nip of something warming. Remember, 'a little of what you fancy does you good'.

I decorated this pudding with medlars and holly and served it cold but with a hot sauce and a hot toddy. Winter pudding recipe

Queen of puddings
Queen of puddings | Source

Queen of Puddings - a regal way to use stale bread

A veritable culinary equivalent to the rags to riches fairy fairy story whereby your stale, old, unwanted bread is transformed into a beautiful, tasty pudding.

All you need is old bread, eggs, milk, butter, jam, a lemon and a bit of sugar. You would never guess that such humble ingredients could so easily become such a delicious pud. Serve hot straight from the oven. Queen of Puddings Recipe

Stuffed Cabbage
Stuffed Cabbage | Source

Traditional Limousin Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

Stuffed cabbage is one of many frugal bread recipes from Limousin. A farming area and once very poor, stale bread, chestnuts and cabbage often feature as cooking ingredients and this cabbage recipe often features all three! I've really enjoyed eating them in the local restaurants and then making them for myself at our Bed and Breakfast. Stuffed Cabbage Recipe

Will you be chucking out your old bread or using it?

Have I inspired you to try these stale bread recipes?

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© 2011 Les Trois Chenes


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