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Uses for stale bread

By on May 27, 2012

When bread goes stale it usually gets tossed out. But rather than throwing it away, try rescuing it. Stale bread can be used for bread pudding, French toast, breakfast casseroles, strata, homemade stuffing and breadcrumbs, to name a few.
How have you used stale bread? Here are a few more ideas:


Add moisture:

Maybe you’ve 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. One reader, Karen from Kansas, shares: “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 (I use freshly milled wheat or spelt 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.

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:

Breadcrumb muffins:

Frugal Village forums member J. Moffitt shares: “My family enjoys breadcrumb muffins, which are a great use for stale bread. The muffins themselves are not sweet, but you can add sweetness by spreading honey butter or fruit butter on them.”

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.

For more recipes that use stale bread, visit:

photo by girl reporter


  1. Claire Forrest

    7/27/2012 at 9:38 am

    Uses for stale bread? Bread and butter pudding. It has been an economy family treat since I was little (back in the UK). Now I live in China, I make it for a taste of home. Here is the recipe: butter 3 or 4 slices of stale bread (use marg if that is what you use) lout into four triangles (or squares – whatever) line the bottom of an oven dish. Sprinkle with currants/ sultanas or whatever dried fruit you have. Meanwhile put about a half a pint of milk in a jug (i often top up milk with water, or add any cream if i have some in the fridge) add an egge and a couple of spoons of sugar. Whisk together and then pour the ‘custard’ over the bread. You are meant to let it rest for half an hour then over bake for about 15- 20 mins until lovely and golden and risen up. Essentially when you put it in the oven it should be a little sloppy, and when you take it out like a souffle. Serve with custard, cream, ice cream or plain. You can use what ever bread you have a round, or even croissants and such like. You can dust the top with sugar before you put it in the over for a crunchy top, or add more sugar to the mix if ou have a sweet tooth. Traditionally if you use brown bread and smear jam on it, it becomes Osborne pudding, a favorite of queen Victoria. Enjoy!

  2. maria

    9/18/2015 at 5:47 pm

    When bread crumbs are meantioned in a recipe are they soft or do you toast them and then put in the blender to make crumbs?

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