Food Waste Sliced Bread

Published on June 16th, 2012 | by Mary Gerush

4

Waste Not: Extend The Usefulness Of Old Bread

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on RedditShare on TumblrTweet about this on Twitter
Tasty Homemade Sliced Bread

Tasty Homemade Sliced Bread

One of the many food products I waste too often is bread. I’ll buy a baguette and use half of it, leaving the remains until they’re too hard to chew. I’ll bake fresh bread and let a third of it get soft and stale (which really annoys me). Even a store-bought loaf of bread often languishes in the bread box until it’s far past its sell-by date. This frustrates me, because I love bread!

But I’ve learned you don’t have to let good bread go bad. If you’re in the cooking mood, you can use old bread to make a refreshing panzanella salad or a savory bread pudding. If you’re not up for prepping a dish (which often I am not), there are simple ways to extend your bread’s life and its pleasure-giving capacity.

Craft Your Own Croutons

If you eat salads, you likely love croutons. And if you love croutons, you know that those from of a box pale in comparison with those made from real bread — whether freshly baked or store bought. To make your own croutons, chop bread into 1/2-inch cubes, toss the cubes with some olive oil, place them on a baking sheet, and season as desired. You can season simply with salt and pepper or boost your croutons’ flavor with onion powder, granulated garlic, or dried herbs. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, turning and shaking every so often. Like bread, homemade croutons freeze well, so if you have leftover bread regularly, you need never buy croutons in a cardboard box again. Make ‘em, freeze ‘em, and use ‘em when you need ‘em.

DIY Bread Crumbs

One of my favorite ways to use old bread? Make bread crumbs. Throw chunks of bread into a food processor and pulse until you see pebble-sized crumbs. If you’re not ready to use them right away, you can throw them in the freezer (in a freezer-safe bag) and pull them out shortly before using. Toss them with olive oil and top a casserole, or use them to bread chicken, fish, or veggies before pan frying or baking. Homemade breadcrumbs are easy, inexpensive, and far tastier than the ones you buy at the supermarket. Really. Truly. You will sneer at packaged bread crumbs forever after.

Feed The Birds

If all else fails and you have bread to spare, deliver it to your feathered friends. Find a pond or a flock, and share your wealth!

Image credit: rprata via flickr/CC license

Keep up with the latest sustainable food news by signing up for our free newsletter. CLICK HERE to sign up!




Get social!
Use the buttons to connect with EDB on some of your favorite social networks!

Tags: , , , ,


About the Author

Hi all! I'm Mary Gerush - a recovering corporate worker bee turned good-farm-real-food advocate and writer who wants to help people understand what they're eating. I tend a tiny urban farm in Dallas, TX, and hope to scale up one day soon. Omnivore through-and-through, there's not much I love to eat more than a butter-basted grass fed steak fresh from a searing hot cast iron skillet. Follow me on , , and !



  • narf7

    I like using thin sliced bread lightly brushed with melted butter or oil pressed into muffin pans and baked till golden for containing savoury mixtures as nibbles. A good way to use up older bread and delicious!

    • Mary Gerush

      Thanks so much for the idea. I wonder if you could freeze them after you’ve baked them if you want to save them for future nibbles. We should experiment!

  • http://www.dental-management.net Dental Management Consultant

    Haha that last one is funny! I used to make bread pudding from stale bread. But it was too long ago that I last made one. I remember that it was very creamy and tasted like cinnammon. Perhaps you have a recipe for bread pudding to share as well?

    • Mary Gerush

      There are so many ways to make “bread pudding,” but I’m a purist. Here’s a good, solid, traditional bread pudding recipe for you. As an alternative, I also found Julia Child’s recipe for bread pudding – aka Cinnamon Toast Flan. I haven't tried it yet, but if it's Julia, it has to be good! Bon appetit!

Back to Top ↑