Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
May 6, 2008 12:07 PM

Leftover bread

In an effort not to waste as much food, I am looking for leftover bread ideas. I often buy a baguette to go with dinner and the next day the uneaten party is rock hard, besides making breadcrumbs, any good ideas? I hate to toss it.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Bread pudding, panzanella (sp?), other bread salads - my husband happens to like rock hard stale bread straight, so I never have any left over.

    3 Replies
    1. re: MMRuth

      Do you have a good panzanella recipe?

    2. Ribollita is classic for using day old bread.
      Crostini is another good option.

      1. Cube it up for croutons and throw it in the freezer right after dinner so it doesn't have a chance to get rock hard. Then when you have time, make croutons, or make these crisps for snacking: Brush both sides of thin (1/2" or even smaller) slices of your baguette with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt and toast in a 350 degree oven until golden brown, turning once. Once out of the oven, scrub both sides of each toast with a cut garlic clove. Delicious on their own, or topped with a tomato/garlic/basil mixture, or any other crostata/bruschetta topping.

        I love having cubed stale bread in the freezer to make croutons when the mood strikes; seems I often wish for croutons on my salad but we rarely have bread in the house to make any with!

        2 Replies
        1. re: janniecooks

          Do you thaw the bread before putting in oven or put it in frozen?

          1. re: cassoulady

            I've always thawed it out first. Never tried from frozen state. But frozen bread defrosts very fast, especially if it's already cut into cubes or slices.

        2. day old bread, even hard bread, makes really great French Toast. You can do it on the stove, or in the oven. Whisk together an egg and milk (if you like it more eggy, put it another egg), and cinnamon, sugar, maybe vanilla, a little salt. Dip bread and put in hot pan. It's really hard to mess up. you can even rip up the bread and do it that way!

          2 Replies
          1. re: cleanyerplate

            A variatiion is to leave really stale or tough bread in the egg mixture overnight (refrigerated, of course) and then pan fry as for regular french toast. The insides become a soft custard, delicious but completely different from the quick version of french toast. Cut the bread thick (1/2 in.) to maximize the effect.

            You might want to slice the bread before it completely dries out, to avoid shattering the slices.

            1. re: cleanyerplate

              It is even better if it has a chance to soak overnight in the egg mixture. You get a really custardy French Toast.

            2. This is the best opportunity to make French Onion Soup!!!
              I love to use the bread slice it, toast it in the oven for the bottom of the bowl, then one slice I usually break in half to stick out through the cheesy top. Think I know what's for dinner....I have left over bread too.

              I also made a version of bruscetta using some of the big fat loaf, I toasted it made a tomato, garlic onion, basil, balsamic sort salsa, then topped the toast. How filling and good it was. Love leftover bread.

              4 Replies
              1. re: chef chicklet

                I love to make a Basque garlic soup with stale is pure comfort food, great for when the cupboards are getting bare, or when I'm feeling blue or just in need of garlicky comfort food. I've posted the general recipe on chowhound before, but can provide details if you like. It's just olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, stale bread, and stock, and takes about 15 minutes.

                1. re: kmr

                  kmr, was this for me or for the op? I've already started the French Onion soup for tonight, but for another day, I know I would appreciate that recipe very much. I'm a huge soup fan.

                  1. re: chef chicklet

                    Oh was for original poster, but I never hit the right button to reply in an orderly fashion.

                    Basque recipes
                    Garlic and Bread Soup

                    This recipe reflects the humble and ancient culinary roots so apparent in the Basque Country. In frugal kitchens, it was considered wasteful to discard even a handful of breadcrumbs.

                    1/2 cup olive oil
                    6 garlic cloves, sliced thin
                    1/2 slightly stale baguette, sliced thin
                    1 tablespoon paprika
                    4 cups water or home-made or commercial chicken broth (I use beef sometimes)
                    1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)
                    6 large eggs

                    In a clay or other flameproof casserole or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, and fry it, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 2 to 3 minutes, until it is golden. Take care the garlic does not burn.

                    Add the bread, and turn it several times so that it absorbs the oil. Sprinkle it with the paprika, and toss well. Add the water or broth, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring, until the soup is heated through and well blended and the bread has absorbed much of the liquid. Season to taste with salt and, if you like, the pepper flakes.

                    Just before serving the soup, crack the eggs, and slide them onto the surface of the soup, taking care not to break the yolks. Let the eggs cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until they are set. Serve the soup by spooning it gently into shallow bowls, allowing 1 egg per serving.

                    This is the ultimate comfort food, guarnteed to cure colds, hangovers and broken hearts.

                    1. re: kmr

                      yum. I just had a bowl of french onion soup, double layer bread and cheese, sherry floated on top.
                      I can see your soup becoming a fast favorite since I use my old bread all the time too. Thanks!