Stale Bread Recipes

Never waste stale bread again

A loaf of bread has a short shelf-life—after just a few days, it can go from fluffy and airy to rock-hard and inedible. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make day-old bread delicious again. Toasting, grinding, and soaking are all good for using up yesterday's loaf. Keep old bread from going to waste with these stale bread recipes.

Mixing cubes of stale bread with butter or oil and baking them turns them golden brown and crispy. They can then be used to make panzanella, a versatile bread salad. In summer, make it with fresh tomatoes and basil. The salad is a great match for pesto-rubbed grilled chicken. In autumn, you can make panzanella using ingredients like arugula, pine nuts, and cranberries.

Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish soup made of raw vegetables and thickened with stale bread. In Andaluz, it's made with the ripest tomatoes you can find, puréed with cucumbers, garlic, sherry vinegar, olive oil, and bread. While the red Andalusian gazpacho is the most famous variety of the soup, we love making white gazpacho with macadamia nuts or almonds.

Cooking pieces of stale bread in a mixture of eggs and cream turns them into a custardy pudding. It's often a dessert dish, as in our sweet banana and dark rum bread pudding. Savory bread pudding is great too, though—try our version with sautéed leeks and parmesan or wild mushrooms and Gruyère.

Never throw out old bread again thanks to these stale bread recipes.

Summer Panzanella
Summer Panzanella
Sweet, ripe, summer tomatoes dressed in olive oil, vinegar, and basil are tossed with garlicky, toasted bread cubes to soak up the delicious juices in this classic Italian salad.Helen Rosner
Bread and Tomato Soup (Pappa al Pomodoro)
Bread and Tomato Soup (Pappa al Pomodoro)
This thick, porridgelike soup is a hearty way to start a meal.Zoe Schaeffer
Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf
The secret to making a light meat loaf is to handle it as little as possible.Laura Sant
Cornflake-Crusted Brioche French Toast
Cornflake-Crusted Brioche French Toast
The recipe for this crunchy french toast is based on the one used at the Lafayette restaurant in the Hay-Adams hotel in Washington, D.C.Penny De Los Santos
Rye Bread Pudding (Maizes Zupa)
Rye Bread Pudding (Maizes Zupa)
A delicious way to use leftover rye bread, this sweet pudding enhances the bread's tangy flavor with the addition of spices and dried fruits.Todd Coleman
Cheese and Bread Soup (Soupe Crasse)
Cheese and Bread Soup (Soupe Crasse)
Typically made with day-old bread or breadsticks during the holidays, this northern Italian specialty comes out like a luscious casserole of melted cheese and bread.Todd Coleman
Gazpacho Andaluz
Gazpacho Andaluz
Though there are many versions of gazpacho, the traditional, tomato-based Andalusian variety is the one you want on a hot afternoon or warm evening.Farideh Sadeghin
Chilled Macadamia Gazpacho with Cured Asparagus
Chilled Macadamia Gazpacho with Cured Asparagus
Sweet macadamia nuts, toasted to deepen their flavor, give a creamy base to this creative chilled gazpacho with asparagus. Get the recipe for Chilled Macadamia Gazpacho with Cured Asparagus »Romulo Yanes
Almond and Garlic Soup (Ajo Blanco)
Almond and Garlic Soup (Ajo Blanco)
Pungent raw garlic shines in this no-cook soup adapted from Claudia Roden's The Food of Spain (Ecco, 2011).Romulo Yanes
Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup (Salmorejo)
Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup (Salmorejo)
Salmorejo is gazpacho's richer, deeper cousin.Todd Coleman
Pesto-Rubbed Chicken with Panzanella
Pesto-Rubbed Chicken with Panzanella
Pesto genovese adds herbal brightness to this grilled chicken served over a toasted bread salad, but any flavor pesto will work.Todd Coleman
French Onion Soup
French Onion Soup
Braised onions, bread, and melted cheese are the main components of this timeless dish, which epitomizes the robust cuisine of Parisian brasseries.Helen Rosner
Mexican Bread Pudding (Capirotada)
Mexican Bread Pudding (Capirotada)
This satisfying dessert uses piloncillo, a type of brown sugar used in Mexican cooking.Todd Coleman
Banana and Dark Rum Bread Pudding
Banana and Dark Rum Bread Pudding
This rich version of bread pudding is a great way to use up overripe bananas or soon-to-go-stale bread.Helen Rosner
Chickpeas with Pita and Spiced Yogurt (Fattet Hummus)
Chickpeas with Pita and Spiced Yogurt (Fattet Hummus)
Across the Levant, you will find variations on fatteh, dishes built on toasted or fried day-old bread. The term comes from the Arabic word "fatta", meaning to crumble bread. In this Lebanese version from author Fouad Kassab's mother Isabelle, brown butter tops a layered dish of baked pita and chickpeas tossed with spiced yogurt. To save time, soak the chickpeas in water and baking soda: the alkilinity of the soda breaks down the beans' cellular walls and can reduce cooking time by thirty five minutes.James Oseland
Autumn Panzanella Salad
Autumn Panzanella Salad
Crispy pancetta, peppery arugula, and sweet sautéed shallots give a fall spin to panzanella.Laura Sant
Leek Bread Pudding
Leek Bread Pudding
The chewy sourdough bread cubes in this savory dish soak up custard for a creamy interior and toast to a golden brown for a crunchy topping, perfect for a slow morning.Ariana Lindquist
Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding
Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding
Flameware—clay pots that can be used on the stove or in the oven—was pioneered in the '50s but has lost popularity as the special clay is notoriously difficult to work with and materials like enameled cast iron meet most high-heat cooking needs. Travis McFlynn, Bay Area's ceramicist-to-the-chefs, has developed a line of flameware that is handmade and gorgeous enough to cook and serve in. Chad Robertson, who favors McFlynn's vessels for this dish at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco, considers the benefits of the painstaking process: "When you have a wood-fired oven, it's sexy to be blasting a dish and then serve it right out of there."André Baranowksi