From eating your ugly veggies to composting, cutting down on food waste has become an important standard in the food world. Tell that to your neglected, too-dry-to-toast loaf of bread in the bread box. Yet there are ways you *can* give that seemingly retired loaf a second chance at life — and they’re all delicious. Here are 13 of the best ways to polish off those last slices with ease.
1. Brioche Bread and Butter Pud: This bread pudding is based on a recipe by English chef Gary Rhodes. You won’t recognize your once-crusty loaf of brioche when it’s filled with decadent, homemade vanilla custard. Oh, and there’s not a raisin in sight. (via The Kitchen Alchemist)
2. Hyderabadi Double Ka Meetha: This traditional Indian bread pudding is typically served at celebrations and weddings. Unlike your average bread pudding, the recipe calls for ghee (clarified butter), cardamom and saffron. This calls for a party! (via Whisk Affair)
3. Peach and Cherry Tomato Panzanella With Burrata Cheese: Juicy grilled peaches, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olive oil breathe new life into chewy bread in this panzanella. Top with creamy burrata, fresh mint and basil. It’s the perfect way to enjoy summer year round. (via Art de Fête)
4. Tender Braised Italian Meatballs: For the most tender and moist meatballs, this recipe calls for fresh breadcrumbs. These breadcrumbs soak up moisture and sauce, making these meatballs a rewarding treat. It’ll make you think of your Nonna, even if you never called your grandmother that. (via Just a Little Bit of Bacon)
5. Pumpkin French Toast: Dip thick slices of Texas toast into a mixture of pumpkin, eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla and the almighty pumpkin pie spice. The result is a flavorful French toast that will make your whole house smell heavenly, long after these are devoured. (via Two Peas and Their Pod)
6. Roasted Tomato and Bread Soup: This soup is ideal for most stale loaves: The dried-out, toasted bread lends a meaty texture to this roasted tomato soup. Topped with Parmigiano Reggiano to serve, this soup tastes nostalgic — almost like a grilled cheese sandwich dipped in tomato soup, all in one amazing bite. (via Alexandra Cooks)
7. Chocolate Almond Bread Pudding: This simple bread pudding gets dressed up with gooey melted chocolate and crunchy almonds. What’s even more delicious is how the top of the pudding crisps while the bottom becomes soft and custardy. (via Lovely Little Kitchen)
8. Homemade Croutons: When you think your bread has just about hit its expiration date, don’t worry — it hasn’t. Cube your bread and toss with a good olive oil and dried herbs like oregano and thyme. For an extra flavor boost, add garlic powder and parmesan cheese. You’ll want to put these croutons on everything (or munch on them straight from the pan). (via A Sweet Pea Chef)
9. Traditional Ribollita Recipe: Ribollita is a bean, vegetable and bread soup native to Tuscany. Though it’s traditionally an Italian peasant food, you’ll feel like royalty when you eat this soup. The bread stews with the cannelini beans and veggies for hours, creating a hearty texture that’s bound to warm you up in the winter. (via Typical Domestic Babe)
10. Asian Inspired Meatloaf: This moist meatloaf, coated with an addicting hoisin, ketchup and Sriracha sauce glaze, will get you excited about meatloaf again. It’s meaty, not just from meat, but from a mixture of shiitake mushrooms and fresh breadcrumbs. Dig in! (via I Wash… You Dry)
11. Extra Tender Meatballs: These flavorful, tender meatballs go great with any dish. Try on a salad or in a sandwich. Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard and freshly grated parmesan give them an umami-filled kick you didn’t expect. (via Food52)
12. Challah Bread Pudding and Vanilla Creme Anglaise: Any bread will work in this bread pudding recipe, but Marcella strongly recommends cinnamon roll Challah. Add raisins if you’re into that — even better, soak them in bourbon first for a spicy twist. (via Modest Marce)
13. Crème Brûlée French Toasts: For a “healthier” take on this decadent meal, bake your custard-filled French toasts instead of frying them. This lets the custard in the center set without burning either side of the toast. Instead of torching sugar, melt it down the old-fashioned way and spread thinly on top of each cooked slice of French toast. You’re left with a crunchy sugar topping on the best French toast you’ve ever had. (via Smitten Kitchen)
What’s your solution to stale bread? Tell us your recipe in the comments below.