When bread goes stale, you throw it out. That’s understandable if it’s moldy. But while bread is delicious fresh, it’s still useful when it’s a bit stale. Stale bread can be used for bread pudding, French toast, on top of French Onion Soup, breakfast casseroles, strata, homemade stuffing and breadcrumbs, to name a few. Basically, anything that bakes or toasts it will work.

Here are ways to use stale bread.

Grilled sandwiches:

Stale bread isn’t noticeably dry when it’s toasted or grilled. Make foods such as grilled cheese sandwiches, French bread pizza, cinnamon and sugar toast and garlic bread.

Meatloaf and meatballs:

While many people use breadcrumbs, oatmeal or saltine crackers to bind the ground beef, you can soak bread slices in milk and egg, too. Here’s a tasty meatloaf recipe:


Nothing can be easier than turning stale bread into croutons for soup and salad toppings. Cut stale slices of bread half an inch thick. Trim off crusts if desired (which may be set aside and used for puddings), butter the slices or toss the bread in a mixture of olive oil, dried herbs, and salt, and cut into half-inch cubes. Place on shallow pan and brown in a hot oven, turning them so that they don’t not burn.

Bread Pudding:

This recipe is for New Orleans Bread Pudding. It has a coconut praline sauce. This old-fashioned bread pudding is perfect to use up stale bread, too.


Add moisture:

Maybe you have microwaved stale bread to soften it and found out this method doesn’t achieve the best results. You can add moisture to it by spritzing it with water and re-baking it. There is an actual formula for softening stale bread. Heating the bread to a temperature of at least 120 F will re-gelatinize the starches, which temporarily reverses the staling process. For individual slices of bread, spritz with water using a fine mist spritzer (a plant mister works very well for this), and warm the slices in a toaster. For the entire loaf, wrap it in foil and bake for 10-20 minutes at 300 to 350 F. Note: Re-gelatinization only works once. Don’t try it several times on the same loaf of bread. I also use dry bread (heels and occasionally a slice or two) to make breadcrumb cookies. I use coconut oil in the recipe, which makes the cookies taste like chocolate coconut and gives them a texture similar to finely shredded unsweetened coconut, which my family loves. I usually make half a recipe when I accumulate one cup of dried breadcrumbs in the freezer.


Breadcrumb Cookies

1-1/4 cups flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 cups breadcrumbs

Sift together dry ingredients. Combine wet ingredients and add to dry mixture. Add melted coconut oil and breadcrumbs. Drop by spoonfuls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes or until done.

Breadcrumb muffins:

1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup breadcrumbs (I use whole-wheat breadcrumbs)
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease muffin tin or line with baking paper cups. Combine the egg, milk, butter and breadcrumbs. Mix and set aside. In another bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Fold into liquid ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Fill greased or lined muffin tin 2/3 full. Bake 25 minutes. Makes one dozen.


This recipe uses whole wheat bread, but I’m sure you can use any kind.

Cinnamon sugar cheesecake roll ups:

Homemade dog treats:

Blend stale bread into crumbs, and then mix 1/2 cup with 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2/3 cup water, and 6 tablespoons oil. Mix and roll, cutting with a cookie cutter, and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place into a 350˚F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

Cinderella crisps:


Stale bread is great for cheese and broth fondue.

The uses for stale bread are so many and varied that it is obviously unwise to waste a particle. The bread-box requires constant supervision and care, especially in summer, when mold forms so quickly. It should be examined daily in hot weather, and in all seasons scalded and aired well before each fresh baking of bread. Small bits of bread should be slowly dried in the oven until crisp and brittle, then ground in the meat grinder or rolled, and kept on hand in a glass jar for breading articles to be fried, for scallops, croquettes, dry stuffings, etc. The larger dried pieces, if cut into presentable shapes, are an excellent substitute for crackers or croutons with soup, and are often preferred to fresh bread. Small pieces and broken slices of stale bread may be used for moist stuffings for meat and poultry, for griddle-cakes, steamed bread, bread omelet, toast points, puddings of different sorts, and for other uses which will readily suggest themselves.



Recipes from 1913