Thursday, March 14, 2013

What to do with old bread

Sometimes you can't eat all your fresh bread while it is still in its prime. I happen to love carbs, but it there are times that even in my family it doesn't all get devoured right away. Plus we aren't really big on eating the heels unless it is a loaf Shannon made from scratch. I do not like to waste anything however, so have compiled quite a variety of things to do with the heels and/or stale bread. My favorite thing to use them for is croutons. I cut the heels or old bread into squares and pour a mix of olive oil, garlic, oregano, salt, and sometimes Parmesan cheese over them. Then I bake them in the oven at about 350 degrees until they are completely dried out, wait for them to cool, and store them in Tupperware. My mom says that she sets her microwave to defrost and dries them out that way.

There are also plenty of great recipes that call for day old bread, I found this one for Panzanella on the Glad website.


2 cups rustic bread (such as ciabatta or Pugliese) cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes (about a half cucumber)
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
½ cup fresh perline mozzarella, drained
3-4 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  1. If bread is soft: preheat oven to 250 degrees, place cubes on a cookie sheet and dry in oven until crisp all the way through but not yet browned. This will take 10-30 minutes depending on how fresh the bread is.
  2. Combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper in a separate container. Mix together until well blended.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cucumber, tomatoes and mozzarella. Pour in vinegar mixture and toss until evenly coated.
  4. Garnish with basil leaves.
You can also use stale bread to make bread pudding.

 This recipe if from Paula Deen:


2 cups granulated sugar
5 large beaten eggs
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups cubed Italian bread, allow to stale overnight in a bowl
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
1 cup chopped pecans

For the sauce:

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup brandy


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Mix together granulated sugar, eggs, and milk in a bowl; add vanilla. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 10 minutes.

In another bowl, mix and crumble together brown sugar, butter, and pecans.

Pour bread mixture into prepared pan. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over the top and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven.

For the sauce:

Mix together the granulated sugar, butter, egg, and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir together until the sugar is melted. Add the brandy, stirring well. Pour over bread pudding. Serve warm or cold.

Stale bread can also be used in soups like French Onion or Ribollita or made into bread crumbs to coat chicken. If you still don't won't to mess with it, you can always feed it to the ducks!

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