• Put your leftover bread to work and make a bread and butter pudding - sweet or savoury like this ham, cheese and spinach meal. (Danielle Abou Karam)Source: Danielle Abou Karam
Next time you go to throw out stale bread, we suggest you stop and rethink. There are many ways to be resourceful and reduce food waste.
3 Jun 2021 - 10:22 AM  UPDATED 6 Jul 2021 - 2:20 PM

--- Stream the day-old bread bread episode of The Cook Up with Adam Liaw free on SBS On Demand or catch the series weeknights on SBS Food at 7.00pm and 10.00pm. ---


Are your loaves looking a little sad? Stale and knowing they may face being tossed out? Bread nearing its expiry doesn't have to go to waste. All you really need to do is ask yourself, 'Entree, main or dessert?'

Here are seven ways to give old bread new life.

Making breadcrumbs

Homemade breadcrumbs are so simple, we're confused why more people don't do it! Simply place old bread in a food processor and grind it down to your preferred size — whether that's fine or chunky. Depending on when you're planning on using the breadcrumbs, you can toast them in the oven at 150°C for about 10 minutes or keep them uncooked and freeze them to use later on. Voila! Your very own, very economical breadcrumbs.

Texture is the name of the game with these breadcrumb-crusted popsicles.

Stale bread yaytime

This is quite an elaborate recipe, a riff on an Australian classic iced confection, a reflection on how to upcycle basic ingredients and a lament for wasted bread.

Stuffing for meats

Let's be honest, roasts are always far better with homemade stuffing. Plus, it's little time spent for major reward. There are a few ways you can use bread to make stuffing. This American-style stuffing soaks bread in hot milk before adding diced celery, onion, parsley and nutmeg. 

Bread stuffing

Otherwise, you can turn your bread into breadcrumbs and mix in some chopped chestnuts, bacon and garlic, as per this recipe.

Comforting bread sauce

A helping of bread sauce is a great way to level up roast chicken. Make your own breadcrumbs, combine with some milk, double cream, onion and aromatics such as a bay leaf, nutmeg and clove to really ramp up the flavour.

A refreshing fattoush

Fattoush is a popular salad in Middle Eastern countries. While each recipe varies, all fattoush has a common denominator — the inclusion of pita bread that's often stale or on its way out. 

The pita bread is fried or toasted, then broken up over cucumbers, tomatoes, spring onion, mint and parsley to create a vibrant and substantial salad.

Bread and butter pudding

Ideal for satisfying those late-night cravings or feeding a crowd, there are countless variations of this British classic out there. For something tropical, take a look at Luke Ngyuen's Vietnamese coconut bread and butter pudding. Or if you're feeling like a little more spice, consider trying out Michele Curtis' chai bread and butter pudding.

Bakery bankruptcy

Adam Liaw's method for clearing piled-up bread: a savoury bread pudding complete with ham, cheese and spinach for a tasty brekkie.

A classic treacle tart

Umami-rich, sweet and oh so slightly bitter treacle tart is one of our favourite ways to repurpose old bread. Within a sweet pastry is a filling of treacle, golden syrup, breadcrumbs and cream. Note: The better the bread used for breadcrumbs, the better the treacle tart. We particularly enjoy Matthew Evans' crowd-pleasing little treacle tarts.

Crunchy, chewy and sticky. What's not to love about these little treacle tarts.

One of the best breakfasts ever: French toast

Stale bread is particularly great when making French toast. You don't want to use bread that's too soft, otherwise you run the risk of toast turning mushy after it's soaked in an egg mixture. Stale bread will hold its ground a little more. Sweet teeth, consider topping your French toast with apples cooked in cinnamon, lemon and butter. On the savoury side, take a look at this bourbon, ham and tomato French toast recipe.

Pork belly and spring onion

Adam Liaw shares his wok-fried pork belly recipe, featuring a few simple ingredients for a quick week night throw-together.

Fattoush salad

A classic Lebanese salad with a garlic-vinegar dressing balanced by the creamy crumbled feta.

Bakery bankruptcy

Adam Liaw's method for clearing piled-up bread: a savoury bread pudding complete with ham, cheese and spinach for a tasty brekkie.

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