What to do with stale homebaked bread?

I made a loaf of wheat/rye sourdough bread a week ago. It’s now hopelessly stale, but there’s still about 2/3 left of a 2 lb. loaf, and I hate to throw it away. What can I do with it? I thought of breadcrumbs, but man, that’s a lot of breadcrumbs (which I don’t use very often in any case). I’m open to ideas that would use a lot of breadcrumbs, too, though. Suggest away!

French toast? With rye you might want to do some sort of savory french toast.


Bread crumbs. Stuffing. Savory bead pudding.

Savory bread pudding!

I haven’t made this, but it looks awfully good.

Croutons. As simple or gourmet as you want to make them. I’ve frozen some and they thawed out later just fine.

Or go visit the nearest pond or lake and feed the ducks/swans/geese/fish and just relax and enjoy yourself.

Homemade croutons are a thing of wonder.

When I was a baker, we’d take day-old baguettes and slice them up. Then we’d brush them with olive oil, sprinkle on some herbs de provence, bake until crunchy, and sell them as “crostini.” They sold like crazy, and by weight were even more expensive than the bread.

Fabulous, guys! Keep 'em coming. I’m not much of a salad eater, but croutons could also be tasty on soup, I guess. And it’s certainly been soup weather over here.

I worked at a bagel bakery once. We would take stale bagels, slice them thin in the meat slicer, brush with oil and then bake to make bagel chips.

In that case: French Onion soup.

Yeah, I throw all my homemade bread heels into a zip lock in the freezer, then when I need bread crumbs or croutons, its easy to grab exactly what I need.

Stuffing, definitely. Tear the bread up and put it in a food processor with a peeled onion, some fresh sage and a good chunk of salted butter - blend to coarse crumbs and add water in small amounts until it just starts to bind together, then roll it into balls and cook them alongside a roast chicken (add them about halfway through cooking).

Sopas de ajo. A dish worthy of a (hungry) king, the story says.

The simplest variant involves adding sliced old bread to a thin broth; the garlic in the name may be part of the broth or smooshed on the bread before adding it to the broth. The rich man’s variant adds an egg (just crack it and add it to the boiling broth before adding the bread, stirring so the egg’s white cooks in long strings).

And of course, toast (or just hard bread) with a tad of oil, a show of salt and either garlic or tomato (but not both!) smooshed on top. If you choose the garlic variety, you’re not supposed to eat the garlic itself. If you choose the tomato variety, make it to the health of that tomato-less bread we were almost unable to get in Barcelona… :slight_smile: (man, the food was good but the service in that place!)

Next time it’s only a little stale, put it in a wet paper bag and bake at 350 F until the bag looks dry (about 10 minutes). Not as good as fresh, but way better than dry bread.

I’m a big fan of French toast or pan toast (buttered or olive-oiled, then grilled on a skillet, makes a great breakfast treat.) Grilled Cheese sandwiches can also be good with bread that’s gone too long to be good uncooked.

You’ll need a cutting board & a bread knife… and take off what you are saving/using for other recipe ideas first.

With whats left, slice it into the thinnest strips you can (w/o it shattering) and use it to dip in soups and salsas or to eat with cheese.
Also, I’ve seen people scoop the heart out of a loaf and fill it with dip for parties… but its a lot of food.

I second the suggestion for savoury bread pudding.

Layer bread cubes with cooked bacon and cheddar cheese. Add beaten eggs and milk to cover, let sit for an hour or so, bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

You certainly should NOT do this. Cite.

Maybe since it’s rye you could use corned beef, swiss and sauerkkraut instead of parmesan, pancetta and broccoli rabe?

This loaf was quite crusty even when fresh out of the oven, and on the dense side. I think the crusts were pretty much beyond hope, even as croutons. So the rest of the loaf got hacked up and turned into garlic croutons. They will go with the roasted squash, red lentil, and root vegetable soup that’s in the works right now for lunches this week.

Oddly enough, I’ve only ever had *sopa de ajo *once, years ago in a restaurant. Maybe I should make a batch just on general principle. But that sounds like something that would be soooo much better with homemade stock, which I don’t have handy at the moment, nor do I have the ingredients on hand for it at the moment. Maybe next weekend…