For some strange reason most people throw away any stale bread that they come across. This is a sad waste since there are so many different uses for stale bread that it can literally take your breath away. In fact, there are so many different recipes out there that require stale bread, dried bread crumbs, or what not that it could literally fill a book. Here are a few of the more common uses that you may want to keep in mind.
- Stuffing. One of the most traditional ingredients to stuffing (or dressing as it is also known) is breadcrumbs. In particular, most recipes call for stale breadcrumbs. All you need to do to make some breadcrumbs out of your stale bread is to cut the bread into some cubes, and then place it onto a cookie sheet. If you would like to flavor them, drizzle a bit of olive oil and your favorite seasonings, and then place it into an oven that has been preheated to around 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the bread in the oven until it has become golden brown, and then remove everything and let it cool.
- French onion soup. French onion soup just isn't the same unless you have a nice cheesy bread topper. Considering that fresh bread would soak up the soup too quickly, you really only want to use stale bread for the topper. Simply get the bread to be roughly the size of the opening for the soup container and then lay a slice of cheese over it. Place everything in a preheated oven (around 350 degrees Fahrenheit will do) until the cheese is melted, and serve.
- Meatloaf. Instead of using crushed crackers as filler for your meatloaf, try using some stale bread. Simply crush the stale bread and then mix it in with the meatloaf. Cook as you normally would, and enjoy.
- Soup thickener. Stale bread, particularly when it has been crushed up, can be the perfect thickener for your soups. In fact, it is perfect for making bisques and other types of bread soups. Typically all you need to do is add a bit of the bread to the soup as you are cooking, and wait till it gets all soggy and mushy. When it is about as soggy and mushy as it will get, begin stirring. Eventually the bread will disappear and help thicken the soup.
- French toast. Instead of using freshly sliced bread to make your next batch of French toast, use stale bread. This is best when you use baguette style bread, but will also work with other kinds as well. Simply replace the stale bread for the fresh bread in your favorite French toast recipe, and proceed as you normally would.
There are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of other uses for stale bread, so don't be as quick to throw it away. That being said, you should still be on the lookout for signs of mold. If you see even a hint of it on the bread, then by all means throw it away. You don't want to accidentally use moldy bread and make everyone sick.