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Best Use of Stale Bread


nakji
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I have a whole loaf of bread that went stale due to poor storage technique. Rather than bin the whole thing, which would result in a lot of angry self-judgment, I'd like to do something with it. My immediate thoughts are a bread salad like panzanella, or a soup like gazpacho, although good tomatoes are not out here yet.

I was trying to amuse myself with listing all the other uses for stale bread. I thought of:

Bread pudding

bread crumbs

croutons

What other uses do you find for stale bread?

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Stuffing for a nice roast chicken.

Breadcrumbs + onion + herbs + butter + salt & pepper. The magic ingredient, which I didn't figure out until years after I left home, is to do the final mix with your hands to squish everything together.

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
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Fattoush. Lebanese salad, very healthy, lots of greens, a nice tart dressing, and bits of stale bread. They don't add the crunch that croutons do, but they add a lovely texture and do great things with the dressing. Maybe not all that different than panzanella, now that I think of it.

Panade. Bread casserole with layers of cheese, broth, greens, softened (or caramelized) onions, what have you. I picked up the original idea from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook, read more about panades in a long-ago food blog on this forum, and never looked back.

Bread doesn't last long enough to stale around here.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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Strata. Yes, layers.

Bread, cheese/meat/protein, sundried tomatoes & olives, cheese.

Pour eggs/milk over the works and let it soak in before baking.

Karen Dar Woon

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Queen of Puddings

Italian Gnocchi di Pane or German/Austrian Bread Dumplings (I LOVED them when I was a kid, but unfortunately have no recipes)

Also I have a recipe for a cake made with dried breadcrumbs and almonds that is in a Pellaprat book. I believe it's called Mascot Cake. My mother used to make it for special occasions, decorated with Mocha Buttercream. PM me if you want the recipe.

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If not too stale and it's a sturdy bread then I turn it into toasted/grilled garlic croutes to accompany steak and salad.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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Marcella Hazan has a lovely recipe for pear cake that calls for bread crumbs...it's very easy and very good (although completely out of season); I believe you can find the recipe online quite easily.

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Do what I do and store it until your freezer is overflowing, then throw it out along with the chicken backs for stock, veg parings for soup, etc.

:sad:

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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Do what I do and store it until your freezer is overflowing, then throw it out along with the chicken backs for stock, veg parings for soup, etc.

:sad:

So will you come over and wipe the spit off my screen? :laugh:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Italian bread soups - either ribolitta (bread & veg soup) or pappa al pomodoro (bread & tomato soup). Which reminds me that I've got a quarter of a stale baguette and two stale Portuguese buns fossilizing in the fridge - I guess pappa al pomodoro is on the menu this week!

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I make stratta, bread puddings, summer puddings, stuffing mix, toasted bread crumbs that go into the freezer (for future use in meat loaf, croquettes), Welsh rarebit, open face sandwiches with gravy - stale is better than fresh in these, quick mini pizzas, and so on...

I have a neat little cookbook, "Cooking With Bread" "Cooking With Bread" that I have been using for many, many years. I checked and found a copy on ebay - it was published in 1969 and I have had mine since then.

There have been a lot of changes in things since then. In particular you will note that many canned goods mentioned contain less net volume than back in those days.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I agree with others about the panade, or any other kind of bread soup. Also from the Zuni Cafe cookbook, Fried Eggs with Breadcrumbs, so good and addictive:

http://www.culinate.com/books/collections/all_books/The+Zuni+Cafe+Cookbook/fried_eggs_in_breadcrumbs

And there's the famous Zuni Cafe roast chicken with bread salad:

http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Roasted-Chicken-with-Bread-Salad

David Lebovitz has a summer bread pudding with berries, set up like an apple charlotte:

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/recipes/sum_pudding.html

I love Georgeanne Brennan's asparagus bread pudding, but I don't know how available the cheeses are for you. Here's the recipe anyway:

http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/asparagus_bread_pudding.aspx

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  • 7 months later...

My number one thing to make with stale bread is a favorite in Barcelona. At Paco Meralgo, there was this...

Paco Meralgo Pan_1.jpg

Today for lunch (at home), there was this...

Pan con Tomate.JPG

Turned into, (with a little less oil than above)...

Pan con Tomate 2.JPG

Pan con tomate. In Catalan, Pa amb tomàquet. Bread with tomato. Not a bad use for stale bread. That's mine...yours?

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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Bread puddings, savory or sweet, strata, summer pudding, buttered bread crumbs to toss with noodles and topped with stewed prunes - a favorite Lenten dish.

I have so many uses for stale bread that I usually bake extra so I will have it for these various dishes.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I made a sausage, pepper and spinach strata for my family on a whim while home over Christmas. My brother, who was skeptical at first, ended up eating a huge amount and pouncing on the leftovers for breakfast the next morning, so I'd say it was a hit. So at the moment, that is my favorite! :biggrin:

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Bread Crumbs (after it completely dries out though,) and the obvious Meatballs.

But mostly for Ribollita, Pappa al Pomodoro, and Crostoni.

I have that tomato bread all the time. Even on fresh bread! It's yummy!

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Bread puddings, both savoury and sweet, definitely. Zuni Cafe has an amazing chard, gruyere and caramelised onion panade recipe, for when you're not feeling so eggy, demo'd here.

Other than that, I've recently discovered that bread crumbs make an amazing soup thickener, a handful or two sprinkled into the cooked soup and softened a little before blitzing.

I also love pan frying an egg in seasoned bread crumbs and thyme, another Zuni idea.

Edited by rarerollingobject (log)
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French toast, with a touch of vanilla in the batter.

Croutons for Pennsylvania Dutch potato filling.

I use stale rolls for bread crumbs.

Theresa

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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The pan con tomate is certainly a favorite, as is garlic bread made just with toasted, day old bread, drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with a cut garlic clove.

Panzanella is probably my top choice, though. Especially in summer, with good, juicy, dead-ripe tomatoes.

--Roberta--

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