What to do with stale bread?

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Joined Jun 22, 2006
Ok, im sure many of you guys have this issue: a whole ton of stale bread that diners didnt eat or that you prepped for service but wasnt used.

We're trying to figure out of course, how much bread we can use as little as possible, but its difficult considering on some nights we're full to the brim and sadly, nights where zero customers came in.

Nevertheless, what we're doing right now is just drying any left over bread (or its trimmings) and grating it to make bread crumbs that is relatively fine in texture. Besides using it for the occasional stuffing or as a thickener, anyone else have ideas for using bread crumbs and mangled trimmings, bits and peices of seriously stale bread?

I thought of a bread and butter pudding but it would be impossible to plate nicely, since like ive said, its all mangled.
 
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Joined Apr 3, 2008
croutons come to mind almost instantly, every place I have ever worked made croutons out of old bread. and no such thing as too many. Also there is a pasta dish with bread called Panzanella. I just googled the name I knew there was a dish but I have never made it.
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Oh, no, not at all difficult to plate, but if you are going to use it for a pudding, don't grind/grate to crumbs, but cut into cubes. Then dry it in the oven. Even the mangled bits will work.

When you make the pudding, let the mixture sit before you bake it so the liquid/custard really soaks into the bread and doesn't end up too wet when baked. Bake it in a well-greased hotel pan and let it cool and firm up. Cut into portions and reheat each portion on a sizzle plate, then plate with sauce, garnish, etc.

Remember that you can make bread puddings savory as well as sweet. I was just discussing a cauliflower bp on another discussion board. I like to add sauteed mushrooms -- it can make a good vegetarian entree. And if you have other prepped vegetables you need to use up, you're saving even more. :peace:
 
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Joined May 29, 2006
Bread pudding both traditional and chocolate with a whiskey sauce.
Apple or fruit crisp
croutons asst flavors
Does not matter if bread mangled for bread pudding. Dice it large and after baking cut into squares.
Stuffed mushrooms
stuffed clams
seasoned and coating for rack lamb
crouquettes
crostinni
streusel toppings mixed with spice flour and butter:chef:
Also cut down on bread and buy some bread stix and make garlic bread for the breadbaskets. you will save a lot
 
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Joined Feb 3, 2010
We had a very similar issue with bread-for-sale that didn't get purchased. We are a store first, and winter is our slow time so last winter when we were new and didn't have a clue how much to order we ended up with a lot of bread and milk in our freezers.

These days our ordering is much improved but we still end up with leftovers. Our newly licenced commercial kitchen helps; we now make seasoned croutons and bread crumbs for sale, our take-out breakfasts use up a lot of bread, I slice thin and 'melba' the better breads and use them on cheese & cracker trays when I do catering. I can't stand the texture of bread puddings but the customers like em just fine. One of our more popular lunch specials is layered sliced meatloaf and stuffing 'loaf' drizzled with a pepper gravy. Our menu is strictly take out so we can get away with a lot of breaded items... I don't know if your style of food would allow for it.


:confused: On a slightly different note; what would you recommend to keep home-baked bread fresh longer? We currently package in paper bags, but I've only been putting out a few mini loaves of each kind at a time and I only bake the full size loaves to order. Nothing seems to last more than a day or so before it is doomed to become processed into something else...
 
2,753
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
Stuffing for various roasts - chicken, turkey, any kind of fowl you may want to stuff.

Coating in crumbed form for many things, as already mentioned above.

Crumb it for gratinee dishes with cheese.

Beer & Bread soup - check this one out - sounds perfect for what you have left with all the mangled bits:).....
Danish Beer and Bread Soup (Ollebrod)

To freshen dry bread rolls: Dip them quickly into cold water, drain, and heat in oven.
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
You might want to check out the storage tips from Amy's Bread. They have this printed up on cards that they give out.

But yeah, the operative word in "fresh bread" is fresh. First day is fine; second day, if you can't repurpose it, give to a Second-Harvest food recovery-type organization. At least you get some sort of deduction, iirc.
 
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Joined Feb 3, 2010
It is as I thought... paper bags is the best we can do.

We do contribute to several charities, so I really like the idea of donating the day-old bread. I'll just have to track down who can take it in the area. In the mean time I suppose I'll just have to keep making the larger loaves to order and keep enticing new customers with the mini loaves.

Time to go put another batch of croutons in the oven....
 
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
Ever heard of a 'soaker'? It's older bread that's been soaked and then with the liquid squeezed out of it, it's then crumbled and added to some dough. I heard that the resulting loaf portrays a really nice depth of flavor.
 
2,753
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
If you have any bits left-over which are large enough - make rings and discs to serve as croutons.

Get yourself 2 cookie cutters of different sizes. Cut with the larger ring. Then cut inside with the smaller ring. You now have 2 pieces. One shaped as an "O" and one disc. Deep fry, salt, maybe spice up with parika or spice of choice to serve as garnishes to soups and salads. You could go crazy :crazy: and use lots of different sized rings, depending on the bread you have left.

(You can tell I recycle food :D ).
 
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Joined Sep 29, 2009
I've done this before with honey oat bread and the oat and honey flavors really come out. Careful though, if you overwork it, the dough gets beyond chewy. My first attempt at this came out like a dish sponge.
 
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Joined Sep 29, 2009
Overworked - but how? Too much kneading the entire dough?
When the bits are in the fresh dough, the remaining proteins from the cooked bread can turn to gluten and then you've got chewy bread.  The trick, it turns out, is to work the fresh dough all most all the way and then work in the soakers and finish kneading as usual.
 
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2,753
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
Crumb the spare bread, brown in butter.  Top steamed/boiled cauliflower with it - soooo nice.  Loads of S&P too.
 
2,753
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
Or take half an hour off, go to local park, feed birds.  We used to do that when we had too much to use.  Does you and the birds good.
 
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Joined Feb 3, 2010
That's how we currently 'throw out' our stale bread.  Our property is boardered on three sides by a provincial park.  The birds (and squirrels, and racoons and deer) are getting pretty fat /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 
2,753
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
Waste not, want not.  Sounds like a great spot you have there.  Hey, are you fattening them up for a reason?/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif
Mmmm, breaded venison....
 
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