February 27, 2012

Give stale bread a new life = make homemade croutons

This last weekend I picked up some sourdough bread from the store bakery. I admittedly paid a pretty penny for it, I was sucked in by the sweet sourdough smell and rustic look. When time came to serve it with our homemade clam chowder, we discovered it was the worst. bread. ever. It was as hard as a rock – not just on the outside but all the way through.

We were fooled by what looked like a good loaf. It’s what’s inside that counts, even with bread.

So what do you do when life throws you a tough loaf? Make homemade croutons! So easy and so much more delicious than store bought croutons I could see myself hoping I’d come across another stale loaf of bread just to have an excuse to make them again. We sprinkled these onto our leftover chowder and it was a beautiful thing.

Next time you’re at the store you can look for a bread markdown section and give the discounted, stale bread a new life.


Day old or stale bread

Olive oil, enough to give a light coating (1/4 cup?)

Salt and pepper to taste

Your favorite herbs, to taste: We used basil, oregano, rosemary and garlic
Other ideas:  thyme, celery seed, parsley, red pepper flakes

Optional: Parmesan cheese, minced or powdered garlic


1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2.) Take bread and slice into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces. Whatever size you’d like.

3.) In a large bowl, mix bread with olive oil, salt and herbs until evenly coated

4.) Spread bread out onto baking sheet and bake at 15-25 minutes or until golden brown. During the baking time, you can use a spatula and flip pieces of bread to get multiple sides crispy and brown.

5.) Put on salads and soups. Store in an airtight bag or container good for about a week, without refrigeration.

Breadcrumbs are another option for rescuing old bread. What else do you do with it? 


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  1. Make an egg strata or bread pudding! Tons of great recipes online for both.

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