What To Do With Stale Bread

Question:

What to do with stale bread? What to do with old bread?

My loaf of bread has become hard, is there anything that can be done to make bread soft again?

Answer:

There isn’t much that can compare to freshly baked bread right out of the oven, so soft and light that it’s hard to know when to stop. But when your fresh loaf of bread sits in the paper bag that it often comes in, it is usually fairly hard to the touch by the next day after purchase and the next day after that you can usually use it as a hammer!

But wait, don’t toss it just because you can’t squeeze it – that would be a big waste! Stale bread can be re-vitalized as itself or made into something very different. By stale bread, we mean a loaf that is a few days old and has lost some freshness or softness – never use bread with traces of mold. Check our table below for several suggestions on what to do with stale bread and what to do with old bread:

What To Do With Stale Bread

Stale Bread

What to do with stale bread:

What to do with stale bread Preparation Bake Time
For bread that is soft on the inside yet crispy on the outside * Sprinkle loaf with water Bake at 350° about 10 minutes
For soft bread Wrap it in aluminum foil Bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes
Make Croutons Chop bread into cubes Bake at 350° about 30 minutes
Make Breadcrumbs Place bread slices on baking pan Bake at 300° about 30 minutes then crumble
Make French Toast Slice and dip into egg batter Pan fry for a few minutes on each side
Make Bread Pudding or Crock Pot French Toast Pour cream mixture over bread pieces in baking dish Bake at 350° for 45 Minutes in oven or 7 hours in crock pot
Make Stuffing Break into pieces and add to melted butter & cooked veggies Bake with your meat
* Recommended for loaves(un-sliced) of bread Caution: If you see mold anywhere on your loaf, toss the entire loaf. These ideas are NOT for spoiled bread!

Freshen Stale Bread

The recommended way to freshen a stale loaf of bread is to sprinkle it with water all over and then bake at 350°, directly on the oven rack, for about 8-10 minutes. The loaf will be crispy on the outside yet soft and fresh on the inside. You will never know that the bread had once been stale!

Hope this answered your questions on what to do with stale bread.

For details and variations on making croutons, see our blog post on how to make croutons.

To find out how long other foods are good for, please visit the Dairy, Drinks, Fruits, Grains, Proteins, Vegetables and Other sections of Eat By Date or use the search function below.

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