When you get to the last slice of bread and it's not as fresh as you'd like it to be, instead of tossing it, there are ways to transform that crumbling mess into something useful. And you might be surprised at the various things you can do with stale bread, ensuring you get every penny out of your favorite loaf. Here are several cool uses for stale bread:
- Artisan breadcrumbs: Cube stale bread, and season for delicious breadcrumbs that can be used for topping soups, stews, or fresh salads. Get the recipe here.
- Happy plants: Dry stale bread in the oven, and then grind in the blender, creating fine breadcrumbs. Simply mix with your potting soil or rake into your garden. The crumbs will add nutrients and moisture to your happy plants.
- Special bird treats: Instead of tossing dry chunks of bread to the birds, grind stale bread in the blender and leave out in small dishes for your friendly birds. Or mix together equal parts breadcrumbs, bird seed, peanut butter, and lard, and roll into rounds. Place in bird feeders for a really special bird treat.
Read on for more smart ways to use stale bread.
- Bread pudding: Maybe the best use for stale bread, bread pudding is savory yet sweet and wonderfully easy to make. Flavor with your favorite tastes, such as chocolate, vanilla, or pumpkin, for a really special treat anytime of day. Get the recipe here.
- Refresh it: That's right — even the stalest, driest bread can be refreshed and enjoyed. Simply preheat your oven to 300˚F and pop the bread into a paper bag with a dampened paper towel. Close the bag and bake for five minutes until it's just like new.
- Homemade dog treats: Blend stale bread into crumbs, and then mix 1/2 cup with 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2/3 cup water, and 6 tablespoons oil. Mix and roll, cutting with a cookie cutter, and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place into a 350˚F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
- Fresh greens: Place stale bread at the bottom of your crisper to help absorb moisture and keep greens fresh. Remove the bread after a day or two.
- Freeze it: Pop stale bread in the freezer for use later. It stays nice (and stale) in the freezer for up to three months, making it perfect for use in a recipe later. Place ends of loaves and small bits and pieces in zip-top bags and then freeze, allowing space for adding future stale slices.
- De-grease soups and stews: Soak up the layer of fat on your soup by placing a stale bread on top. Let it float for a few seconds and soak up that unwanted grease.
- Clean your coffee grinder: Tear up stale bread into chunks and throw them in the coffee grinder. Grind it for a few seconds, open it, and you'll see coffee bits sticking to the bread, which you can then dump out.
- Keep cookies crisp: Top freshly baked cookies with a square of stale bread to keep them perfectly chewy.
- Erase pesky scuffs: Eliminate dirty marks from walls by rubbing them with white part of a piece of stale bread. Make sure to cut off crusts to avoid scratching.
- Save your tears: Stay tear-free while chopping onions by simply sliding a stale piece of bread up to the hilt of your knife, which will absorb those gaseous chemicals that induce crying.