According to Friends of the Earth, bread is the UK's most wasted food and 30% of what we bin is perfectly good to eat.
I struggle to get through a loaf of bread before it starts to get mouldy and used to throw out more bread than I'd care to admit. Ashamed of my wastage, I decided to take action and look up different ways to turn stale bread into something wonderful. And I'm not just talking breadcrumbs...
1. Enjoy crisp buttery toast whenever you fancy
Friends have been advising me to freeze my sliced bread for a while now but I was always slightly put off by this idea. I like my bread to be fresh and fluffy. But, if you love to eat toast then this is really the only way to be storing bread. Pop your frozen slices in the toaster and you'll see no difference when it has some warm melted butter on top. Your toast will still be crisp and oozing with buttery goodness.
I toast whole, torn or diced slices on a baking tray in the bottom of the oven when cooking a roast or casserole. My dogs love the crispy pieces which keep for ages as a treat and/or added to their food.
K Frost, EHT reader
2. Give your pasta bake a golden crunch
To give your pasta bakes and macaroni and cheese dishes more crunch, tear up some stale bread and brush with melted butter. Scatter over your dish and it'll give it a nice golden crunch.
I grate, (or whizz in a blender) stale bread and freeze it in small bags. Try it sprinkled on cream cheese on top of a piece of salmon and baked for 20 mins. Yum!
Caroline, EHT reader
3. Make Parmesan Pitta Snaps
Got stale pitta bread? Cut them into strips using kitchen scissors, brush on a coating of melted butter and sprinkle some parmesan cheese onto each. Oven bake on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until crisp. They go wonderfully with hummus. For the full recipe check out Colleen's recipe for Parmesan Pitta Snaps.
4. Tuck into an ooozy cheesy toastie
You can still enjoy a sarnie with your stale bread. Pop into the oven or toast on a griddle pan with lots of cheese and any other delicious ingredients that you fancy. Chutney or ham are always winners, but lots of melting cheese will soften up your hard bread not end. The ultimate comfort food!
5. Make a sweet treacle tart
Turn your stale bread into a little slice of heaven. Crumble your stale bread or whizz in the food processor, and add it to you treacle mix for a nice spongey texture. Check out Good to Know's Treacle and Lemon Tart recipe.
6. Make salads appealing with croutons
Croutons really do make a salad more exciting to eat. Toss 1-inch torn pieces of stale bread with 3 tablespoons of olive oil on a baking sheet and season with salt and black pepper. Bake for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally until golden. Delicious.
7. Make a roasting bed for your chicken
I'm yet to try this one, but stale bread is apparently ideal for placing underneath a roasting chicken. It soaks up all those drippings according to BBC Good Food and who am I to argue with the food gods.
8. Make garlic bread. Lots and lots of delicious garlic bread!
If you have a baguette or loaf that's looking a bit hard on the outside, turn it into garlic bread. Slice, cover in lots of crushed garlic, a knob of butter and plenty of parsley. Oven cook or freeze for your next Italian feast.
Makeover leftover french sticks into pizzas by slicing length ways, adding toppings and baking.
Tracey, EHT reader
9. Try Jamie Oliver's Panzella
This Tuscan tomato and bread salad recipe specifically calls for stale bread so make sure you try this delicious-looking Summer salad when you have a sad-looking loaf. You can also add prawns and chicken to this recipe.
10. Make savoury bread pudding
Most people will tell you to make sweet bread pudding when you've got stale bread on your hands, but a savoury dish will take your bread further. Make a savoury version with delicious prosciutto, mushrooms and parmesan that will be perfect for lunch or dinner.
11. Treat yourself to boozy French toast
Follow this easy peasy recipe from Smitten Kitchen and make yourself some boozy French toast for brunch. In between two layers of sliced bread, pour whisked milk, eggs and sugar, and add your favourite liquor. They suggest Bailey's which sounds down right wonderful.
Thanks for reading! Do you have any interesting uses for stale bread?
Let us know in the comments section below!