One of the great things about making bread with sourdough starter is that it keeps longer than store-bought bread. Eventually, though, time and environment will take their toll, even on a loaf of homemade sourdough bread. If you are past the point where the bread can be refreshed, there may yet be hope. Stale bread does not necessarily mean wasted bread.
For those just beginning to experiment with sourdough baking, these recipes work well with 'failed attempts' at baking, too. Nearly any loaf can be used for something, even if not for sandwiches.
Let no crumb of your naturally fermented sourdough bread go wasted with these ideas and recipes:
RECIPES USING STALE BREAD
Panzanella is an Italian bread salad that utilizes stale bread as an ingredient in an otherwise fairly ordinary salad. The dried-out bread is perfect for sopping up the flavorful ingredients and dressing in the salad, giving you a flavorful, fresh way to use up that stale sourdough.
Try our version of Sourdough Panzanella with fresh summer vegetables and herbs.
French Toast is a familiar breakfast favorite made even better when stale bread is used. The dried-out bread soaks up the custard mixture and any flavors added to it.
Bruschetta. Slice the bread thickly. Toast lightly and while it’s still warm, rub with a halved garlic clove. Drizzle with olive oil. Top with your favorite fresh fermented salsa, salad, or condiment.
Bread Pudding can be made savory or sweet. The dry bread soaks up this rich, flavorful custard and bakes into a delicious meal.
Use leftover sourdough in savory Bread Pudding with Gruyere.
Breakfast Strata uses bread as more of an accompaniment to the eggs it contains, rather than as the major component of the dish, as in bread pudding.
Overnight Sourdough Breakfast Strata and Sourdough-Ricotta-Blueberry Strata are two delicious examples!
Stuffing is perhaps the most common use for stale bread cubes, for a good reason! No need to wait for the holidays to try our amazingly tasty gluten-free sourdough stuffing.
Croutons are crunchy additions to salads and soups, made by simply coating cubes of dry bread in butter or olive oil and baking. Using sourdough bread adds a depth of flavor to croutons that yeast-leavened white bread just cannot produce.
RECIPES USING STALE BREAD CRUMBS
Once a loaf of bread is dry enough, it can be ground up to make homemade bread crumbs. If the bread is not quite dry enough, put it in a low oven until completely dry. Grind in a food processor to make homemade sourdough bread crumbs. Use the crumbs in these delicious recipes:
Other recipes, such as Mexican Piedras or Bavarian Bread Dumplings call for bread crumbs. Using sourdough bread crumbs adds impressive flavor.
OTHER USES FOR STALE SOURDOUGH BREAD
- Feed it to the chickens or pig.
- Compost it!
- Make traditional Russian kvass.