5 Tasty Uses for Stale Bread

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Do you ever have a loaf or two of old, stale bread lying around the house? I used to think that only good use for it was feeding the geese at the pond or the birds in my backyard, but it turns out that I’m wrong. There are tons of yummy uses for stale bread that will have you “forgetting” about that loaf of bread in your cabinet again next week.

5 Tasty Uses for Stale Bread:

1. Stuffing 

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf stale bread
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound meat
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 tablespoons oregano, minced
  • 1 large apples or 1 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2-4 cups chicken or turkey stock

Directions:

  • Toast the bread and nuts. Heat the oven to 350°F. Slice the bread into small cubes. Spread the cubes in a single layer between two baking sheets. Toast for ten minutes. Flip bread cubes and add chopped nuts. Continue toasting until the bread is completely dry and nuts are toasted. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  • Cook the sausage. Brown the meat with a sprinkle of salt over medium heat, breaking it up into crumbles as you cook. Transfer the cooked sausage to a bowl and drain off all but a few teaspoons of the fat.
  • Cook the vegetables. In the same pan over medium heat, cook the onions with a sprinkle of salt until softened. Add the celery and continue cooking until the celery is softened. Add the fruits, optional, and herbs. Cook until the ingredients are just starting to soften. Remove the pan from heat.
  • Combine the stuffing ingredients. Combine the sausage, vegetables and fruits, bread cubes and nuts in a large mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs and pour over the bread mixture . Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir until all the ingredients are evenly coated.
  • Transfer stuffing to baking dish. Pour the stuffing into the baking dish.
  • Add the stock. Pour the stock evenly over the surface of the stuffing. If you prefer your stuffing on the dry side, add 2-3 cups of stock; if you like moist stuffing, add 3-4 cups.
  • Cover and bake. Cover the stuffing with aluminum foil and bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.
  • Uncover and bake until crispy. Uncover the stuffing and continue baking until the top is crispy and golden, another 15-20 minutes. Let cool before serving.

2. Croutons

Ingredients:

  • partial loaf of stale bread
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • salt

Optional Flavorings:

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs such as oregano, basil, or thyme OR 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

Directions:

  • Prep the bread. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Using a knife, cube slices into uniform bread cubes.
  • Place on baking tray. Drizzle a little butter onto your baking sheet. Add bread, bunching it close together in a single layer. Drizzle remaining butter, add a heavy pinch of salt and optional flavorings, if using, and toss lightly to coat. Spread the croutons out so that they are no longer touching.
  • Bake in the oven. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 5 minutes. Remove the tray, carefully toss and stir croutons. Bake another 5 minutes and check for doneness.
  • Cool. When the croutons are done to your liking, remove them from the oven and cool on the pan.

3. French Toast

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 8 slices stale bread, sliced 1-inch thick
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons butter, plus more for serving

Directions:

  • Whisk the eggs, half-and-half, salt, and sugar in the cake pan.
  • Ready your cooking space. Place the frying pan on the stove over medium-low heat.
  • Soak the French toast. Place slices of bread into the egg mixture to soak for one minute. Flip the slices and soak another minute.
  • Cook the French toast. While the bread is soaking, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the pan. When it starts to foam, tilt the pan to completely coat the bottom. Lay one piece of bread at a time in the frying pan. Repeat with additional pieces.
  • Flip the French toast. After a few minutes, peek under a slice of bread to see if the French toast has turned golden brown. When it has, flip each piece and continue cooking. Remove when both sides are golden brown.

4. DIY Breadcrumbs

Ingredients:

  • stale bread

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 250ºF.
  • Prep the bread. Slice a loaf of bread into large crouton-sized chunks, or thin slices.
  • Bake. Place on a large cookie sheet and bake until the bread is completely dried out.
  • Process. Run the chunks through a food processor until you have fine breadcrumbs – or grate with a grater.

5. Bread Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 cups stale bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • Prep the baking dish. Butter the inside of your baking dish and arrange the bread pieces inside.
  • Combine ingredients. Whisk together the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.
  • Prep dish. Slowly pour the milk mixture over the bread. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325° . Put a rack in the middle of the oven. Set the pudding on the counter while the oven is pre-heating to take some of the chill off.
  • Bake. Put the pudding in the oven uncovered for 45 – 55 minutes.
  • Let it cool. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Image Source: BigStock

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