There are very few things that can irritate me like stale bread can.
Stale bread is quite normal in my house, though. One week, the kids are devouring PB&J sandwiches every morning and I never seem to have enough bread, and the next (which happens to be the week I buy extra bread) they won’t touch the stuff. I think they sense that I spent extra money to stock up on bread, so they simply decide not to eat it. They are very dastardly like that.
Because of their cunning attempts top foil my money saving ways, I’ve devised several different ways to use stale bread – and they’re none the wiser…
Yeah, yeah – I know. Making bread crumbs is one of the most obvious ways to make stale bread, but it still deserves to be on the list. Breadcrumbs are extremely simple to make. Just toast stale bread in the oven for a few minutes until it’s completely dry, then pulverize it in the blender. You can skip this step and not dirty your blender by crumbling most of the dried bread into a large plastic bag and finishing it off with a rolling pin. You can also add seasonings for tastier breadcrumbs.
Another of the more obvious ways to use stale bread, but it still deserves to be on the list. Although meatloaf gets a bad rap, it can be pretty tasty when made right. To use stale bread for meatloaf, don’t use completely dry bread. Instead, use still slightly moist – but old – bread chunks, or moisten them in milk for a few minutes. If your family doesn’t like their meatloaf with ketchup (BLECH!), try covering it with spaghetti sauce or gravy instead.
Meatballs are a great way to use stale bread. As with the meatloaf, try not to use completely dry breadcrumbs or bread. Use moistened bread chunks instead. Just use a serrated knife to cut a pile of bread slices into small cubes.
4. French Toast
Use stale bread to make french toast for a tasty breakfast, brunch, or dinner. the egg moistens it well, and stale bread seems to stay a little fluffier than fresh bread when I make french toast.
5. Grilled Cheese
When you make grilled cheese, the point is to make the bread all toasty and crispy. This, of course, makes it a perfect candidate for when you need to use stale bread. Just sandwich a couple slices of cheese between two slices of stale bread, slather a little mayo or butter on the outside, and fry away!
6. Grilled PB&J
Don’t care for cheese? Use stale bread to make a grilled PB&J instead. I wouldn’t suggest using mayo to fry it up, though. Might give it a funky taste.
7. French Onion Soup
Mmm! Use stale bread as a topping for French onion soup! Chop it into cubes, cover with shredded cheese, and broil for a tasty, gooey, toasty topping.
8. Casserole and Mac and Cheese Topping
You can make an awesome crumb topping for casseroles and mac and cheese with dry bread crumbs that you made from stale bread. Just mix the breadcrumbs with some melted butter and grated parmesan cheese, sprinkle the mixture on your dish, and bake until the topping is golden brown. You can also use stale cinnamon rolls to make an awesome crumb topping for apple pie using this method.
9. Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich
Top stale bread with thin slices of roast beef and pour beef or mushroom gravy over the top. The gravy moistens the bread, so this is a great way to use stale bread.
10. Absorb Grease From Soups and Sauces
Too much grease in your homemade soup, stock, or gravy? Use stale bread to remove some of the grease. Just let a piece of stale bread float on top for a bit and it will absorb most of the grease.
11. Keep Crisp Vegetables Crisper
Use stale bread in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer to keep them from wilting too early. Place a couple slices on the bottom of the drawer, and they will absorb extra moisture. Make sure to replace the slices every couple of days.
12. Keep Cookies Soft
Don’t you hate when your freshly baked cookies get hard after a day or two? Store them in an airtight container with a piece of stale bread, and they’ll stay softer longer.
13. Keep Cut Cake Edges Soft
Just like with your cookies, you can also use stale bread to keep the cut edges of your cakes from getting hard and crunchy. Just secure a piece of stale bread to the cut edges with a couple toothpicks.
14. Clean a Painting
Every time I’m looking at a painting in a museum, I wonder how many times it’s been rubbed with a piece of bread. That’s because you can use stale bread to clean gunk and dust off of old paintings without harming the surface. Just don’t use a piece of bread that’s dry, or you’ll leave crumbs on it.
15. Remove Burnt Taste From Rice
You don’t have to trash a whole pot of rice if you left it on the stove for too long. Use stale bread to remove the burnt taste. Just place a piece of stale bread on top of the cooked rice, put the lid back on, and wait several minutes. When it’s time to serve, remove the bread and scoop out the unburnt rice.
16. Feed Houseplants
You can also use stale bread to feed your houseplants. Mix dry breadcrumbs into the soil in your houseplants. The stale bread will provide nutrients that the plants need to thrive. The same is true of dried and crushed egg shells.