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Stale Bread Recipes: 4 Creative and Tasty Ideas

stale bread recipes
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - TiBine

Don’t throw stale bread away! Utopia has a few stale bread recipe ideas for giving those hard bread loaves a second life.

Americans throw away an estimated 30 to 40 percent of all edible food. Grains make up almost one-fifth of the total – the equivalent of nearly one loaf of bread per week. And these figures don’t even account for all of the bread products thrown away directly at the grocery store. All of us can do our part to reduce food waste, which ultimately reduces our carbon footprint as well.

Sure, there are some great stale bread recipes that help put your hard bread to use. However, do try and stop your bread from going stale in the first place. The simplest way to avoid stale bread is to store it properly – and to only buy what you know you can use.

Whether your bread is aged but still edible or has turned hard as a rock, it’s still possible to save it by putting it back to use. Just give the following stale bread recipes a try.

Reducing overall household food waste shouldn’t stop at bread: Put veggies back on your plate with some creative food-saving tips on how to reuse vegetable scraps. How about using these kitchen scraps spared from the trash in a delicious homemade pesto or vegetable broth? The possibilities are endless!

1. Delicious Bread Casserole with Peppers

Stale bread recipe casserole
Our stale bread casserole recipe is super simple and quick. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - TerriC)

Stale bread can easily be transformed into loads of hearty main dishes. Our recipe with bell peppers serves two and requires the following ingredients (organic if possible):

  • 1 1/3 cups old bread
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. rosemary
  • 2 spring onions
  • 3 organic eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream
  • salt and pepper to taste

This recipe for stale bread is easy. Simply follow these five steps:

  1. Dice the bread and bell peppers and add to a mixing bowl together with the parsley, rosemary, and chopped spring onions. Mix everything thoroughly.
  2. Grease a casserole pan and empty the contents of the mixing bowl into it, spreading it out evenly.
  3. Use the bowl to lightly whip together eggs, milk, and cream; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the bread mixture.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes until a fork comes out clean.

Pro tip: No need to preheat the oven for this stale bread recipe!

2. French Toast Casserole for Sunday Breakfast

french toast
french toast (CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Yukiko Kanada)

French toast is a perfect stale bread recipe: This beloved breakfast dish turns out best when bread is slightly stale and can better absorb the creamy egg mixture. For two servings of this stale bread recipe, you’ll need:

  • 2 slices of bread per person, cubed
  • 1 organic egg
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • cinnamon and sugar to taste
  • maple syrup (optional)

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Lightly whisk together egg and milk in a bowl; add sugar (or sugar substitute) and cinnamon, then toss in the cubed bread chunks and mix thoroughly.
  2. Allow the bread to sit and soak up the mixture for a few minutes, stirring once or twice to remix.
  3. Grease a baking dish and add the bread mixture, spreading evenly.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes. Serve with maple syrup if you like.

Pro tip: For the vegan version, replace cow’s milk with plant-based milk of your choice and swap out the egg for a ripe banana.

You want to become vegan or make some dietary adjustments? Here are some tips: Going Vegan: 5 Simple Steps Towards Veganism.

3. Traditional German Dumpling Recipe

 stale bread recipe: traditional German dumplings
Save hard buns and baguettes: this stale bread recipe needs them. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Hans)

Bread dumplings are a staple of hearty German cooking traditionally prepared from stale buns and baguettes. To make this stale bread recipe, have the following (organic) ingredients at hand:

  • 3 cups stale bread
  • 1 onion
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 organic egg
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pat of organic butter

This old bread recipe will only take about 40 minutes:

  1. Cube the bread and place in a bowl; warm the milk and pour over the bread. Mix together thoroughly and allow it to rest.
  2. Finely chop the onion and parsley.
  3. Melt the butter in the pan, then add the onions. Sweat the onions and remove from the stove.
  4. Stir the bowl with the bread, adding egg, salt and pepper, parsley, and the cooked onions.
  5. Using your hands, knead all the ingredients together well.
  6. Form the mixture into baseball-sized dumplings.
  7. Add the dumplings to a large pot of boiling water and cook for around 15 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when they float to the surface.

4. Homemade Bread Chips

Unhealthy foods white flour bread slices
Stale baguette is perfect for making bread chips. (Photo - CC0 Public Domain /

Bread chips are a tasty and healthy alternative to fatty potato chips and a perfect stale bread recipe as they can be made from any bread you have at hand. And best of all: They’re easy and fast to make!

  1. Simply cut your stale bread into thin slices, place it on a baking sheet, and brush each slice with olive oil.
  2. If you like, add pressed garlic, rosemary, or sea salt for flavoring.
  3. Bake at 300° F for around 30 minutes.

Halfway through your bake, the bread slices should start to brown slightly. Remove from the oven, rotate, and repeat the steps with oil and seasonings.

More Creative Ideas for Stale Bread

Stale bread loaf
No need for store-bought croutons – simply make your own at home. (Photo: CC0 Pubic Domain / Pixabay - Alexas_Fotos)

It’s easy to turn your old bread into new ingredients that can pep up other dishes, too.

  • Croutons are the perfect example – these quickly add flavor and crunch to salads and soups. Simply cut your stale bread into small cubes, then fry these together with oil and seasoning in a frying pan.
  • No one should ever buy bread crumbs at the supermarket when it’s so easy to make your own. This recipe for stale bread could not be simpler: Simply slice your bread, then let it dry completely. Your food processor will quickly take care of the rest.
  • Tip: White breads make the best bread crumbs, as the oils in seeds, nuts, and whole grains causes these crumbs to spoil faster. Always store your bread crumbs in an airtight container. Use them to bread meat and vegetables before frying, to thicken sauces, or even to dust your baking pans to prevent sticking.

This article was translated and adapted from German into English. You can view the original here: Brot ist kein Müll – so kannst du altes Brot verwerten.

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