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What to do with a stale loaf of sourdough?

Bought a loaf a sourdough to make French toast this weekend that I never ended up making. Tried to see if I could make it today but it was just too stale. What can I make with the bread that's not breadcrumbs (already have a lot on hand)? If I made croutons, would they taste stale?

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  1. I would make bread pudding with a rum or bourbon sauce.

    However, I have to confess that the bread pudding is just a reason to make Rum Creme Anglaise, which to me is the goal. :-)

    1. Well, french toast and bread pudding are the obvious choices.

      But you might try a grilled cheese or patty melt type of sandwich as well. You'd be surprised how some butter and heat can really revivie a dead piece of bread.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Grilled cheese! A lot of butter, a lot of cheese. Someone once told me to use mayo on the outside of the bread if its stale.

        1. re: cheesecake17

          Bread pudding for sure. Or panini and grilled cheese.

        1. How about Pappa Al Pomodoro? Italian Tomato soup with bread. You should use good quality tomatoes like San Marzano for this:


          1. Crostini: Slice, brush both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with Kosher salt. Arrange on cookie sheet, and top with grated fresh parmesan cheese. Run under broiler until toasted, turn over, top other side with parmesan, and return to broiler to toast. Great plain as a side to go with salad or main course, or as base for bruschetta or similar hors d'oevre.

            1. We've been making croutons from stale sourdough for years

                1. re: pikawicca

                  Ditto. We like this one: http://relish.com/recipes/spinach-and... , but we prefer it with a heartier green like kale instead.

                2. Don't most people use stale bread for French toast? It's not one of my favorite things - eggy and sweet doesn't really work for me - but it seems to me that's what you'd want to use.

                  Stale bread is pretty much what I'm used to, since the two of us don't eat that much, especially white bread, so to me most of any sourdough loaf is going to be toast or grilled cheese (or grilled SOMETHING) sandwiches. Then if I'm lucky enough to catch it before it molds I'll chop it up, bag it and freeze it for future stuffing use.

                  1. Try a savoury bread pudding (instead of sweet). The Portuguese are the best at this peasant-gourmet dish, IMHO and stick to fish, but you can experiment and decide what you like.

                    For example, tomorrow I am going to stretch a lovely little piece of smoked haddock by cutting up 1/2 loaf of stale home-made Buttermilk White bread.

                    I will soak the bread well in a mixture of 3-4 well-beaten eggs, 3 1/2 cups of milk, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of Worcestershire and tabasco. I will let it rest for an hour in a well-buttered casserole. I will cut up the haddock and add 1/2 cup of grated cheddar, 1 Tbsp of finely diced fresh dill and add (gently!) to bread mixture and bake at 350 for just under an hour (until totally set). Allow to cool slightly before serving with tomatoes tossed with fresh herbs, olive oil and lemon.

                    Savoury bread puddings are a great use for fresh herbs and leftover meats: sage and ground pork, summer savoury and poultry, rosemary and beef, cilantro and lamb, salmon and fennel fronds...you get the idea.

                    1. Make panzanella (Italian Bread Salad). Soak in milk, and make meatballs.

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            You could make a good winter panzanella with raw kale and roasted squash.

                        1. I would make some kind of breakfast casserole- roasted vegetables, cheese, cubed sourdough and egg whites.

                          1. Look up Spanish garlic soup. Just garlic, broth, smoked paprika, s&p and some old bread. Very delicious. Probably even better with sourdough

                            1. French toast is best when made with stale bread, even really stale bread. Mix up your egg and milk, and soak the stale bread in it for a few minutes until it softens, and then cook.

                              Otherwise - bread pudding, crostini or brushetta variants, bread soup, breadcrumb dumplings.