In a pickle: What to do with stale bread

May 17, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Don't ditch your day-old bread! It's got plenty more life in it with these great ideas. You may even want stale bread around after reading this.

Homemade breadcrumbs

It might be tempting to throw out your day-old bread, but instead try being resourceful and economical. Throughout the ages creative chefs have invented brilliant uses for stale bread that make the most of its dry texture, either by grinding it, toasting it, or soaking it in liquid.


One of the easiest and best ways to put stale bread to good use is to make homemade breadcrumbs. Simply put the bread in a food processor, grind, and they're done! You can grind them superfine or leave them coarse, depending on your preference. Even better, you can custom season them with dried herbs, ground nuts or Parmesan cheese.

Learn how to make fresh breadcrumbs >> 

Bread pudding

Bread pudding is one of life's great comforts, and it all starts with stale bread. Make a decadent, sweet bread pudding for dessert with milk, eggs, sugar and flavorings like vanilla and cinnamon. Or create a drool-worthy side with a savory bread pudding packed full of cheese and your favorite veggies.

Check out three sweet bread pudding recipes >>


Croutons add great texture and crunch to soups and salads, making them all the more appealing to eat. To make them at home, simply cut up stale bread into cubes and toast in the oven. Have fun by seasoning them with your favorite flavors like garlic, Parmesan or even chipotle.

Find out how to make homemade croutons >>


If you have leftover pita pockets or tortillas, then slice and bake them to make pita or tortilla chips. Enjoy with your favorite dip or salsa, or just on their own. As a bonus, friends will be impressed that you've made your own chips! Stale, toasted bits of pita are also excellent in the classic Middle Eastern fattoush salad.

Get an easy recipe for garlic pita chips >>

Tell us

What are your favorite uses for day-old bread? Tell us in the comments below!

In another pickle? Find more solutions to common kitchen problems >>

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