Stale Bread Recipes: Creative and Tasty Recipe Ideas

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - TiBine

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

Americans throw away an estimated 21 percent of all edible food. On average, this totals up to 220 pounds of food per year at a loss of $450 per person. Grains make up almost one fifth of the total – the equivalent of nearly one loaf per week. These figures don’t even account for all of the bread products past their expiration dates 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.

The simplest way to avoid stale bread is to store it properly. And 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 recipes for stale bread a try.

Check out our guide on Storing Food: 7 Easy Tricks to Avoid Food Waste for some helpful tips and tricks on storing food like a pro.

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.

Reuse Stale Bread: Delicious Bread Casserole with Peppers

Stale bread recipe casserole
Stales bread recipes don’t get more creative than this. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - TerriC)

Stale bread can easily be transformed into loads of hearty main dishes. Internet recipe portals have countless bread casserole variations for you to try. Our version with bell peppers serves two and requires the following organic ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 c old bread
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 T parsley
  • 1 t rosemary
  • 2 spring onions
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • ½ c whipping 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 bowl of bread, spring onions and spices 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!

Stale Bread Recipe for Sunday Breakfast: French Toast Casserole

French toast is a beloved breakfast dish that turns out best when bread is slightly stale and can better absorb the creamy egg mixture. But rather than spend your Sunday morning frying slices over a hot stovetop, why not prepare this French toast casserole for oven baking the night before? Just start the oven 45 minutes before you’d like to serve it and they’ll be warm by the time everybody else is awake. For two servings of this stale bread recipe, you’ll need:

  • 2 slices of bread per person, cubed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ¼ c milk
  • cinnamon and sugar to taste

How it goes:

  1. Lightly whisk together egg and milk in a bowl; add the sugar 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.

Pro tip: For the vegan version, replace cow’s milk with a 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 a Vegan Diet.

Dumplings: Traditional German Recipe for Stale Bread

Traditional German dumplings stale bread
Save those 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:

  • 1 c stale bread
  • 1 onion
  • 1 ¼ c milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pat of butter

This stale 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.

DIY Snack-Recipes from Stale Bread: Homemade Bread Chips

Bread chips are a tasty and healthy alternative to fatty potato chips and 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 pan, 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.

Other Simple Recipes 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 seasonings in a frying pan.

And 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.

Read on:

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

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