16 Ways to Use up Sourdough Bread – Don’t Throw Stale Bread!

There are a few things that readers of this website have in common, one of them is they love making bread! Sourdough bread in particular is a beloved staple across many cultures because of its unique flavour and texture. The problem with making all this delicious foodstuff is that it’s easy to make too much. And, I know, I’ve been there – you make so much bread that it starts to get old and stale!

So if you are not sure what to do with your stale sourdough bread, and you don’t want to just throw it out. Well, I have some great ways to use up sourdough, just for you!

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1. Bring it back to life 

The first thing to suggest is to refresh the sourdough bread by getting it wet and baking it. It won’t stay fresh for long but will taste as good as it just came out of the oven for a couple of hours. 

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How to refresh stale sourdough bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 390 F (200 C).
  2. Run the sourdough bread under the tap, or pour water over it. You want to get the crust wet, but not the inside if you can.
  3. Wrap with aluminium foil.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and the bread is refreshed. For a crispier crust, pop it back in the oven uncovered for another 5 minutes.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to use up stale sourdough bread, so you can save money by not throwing out any leftover loaves!

2. Croque Monsieur

The world’s best sandwich (in my opinion) is best made with stale sourdough bread. The dry bread absorbs the juices in the pan and takes a ham and cheese sandwich to the next level!

How to make a croque monsieur

  1. To make a croque monsieur, cut two slices of stale sourdough bread whilst warming a frying pan or griddle at a medium heat.
  2. Generously butter the outside of the bread slices and stack on top of each other making the butter sides face each other.
  3. Spread dijon mustard on the top slice.
  4. Top with slices of ham and then cheese (emmental is the preferred option, but any hard cheese will do).
  5. Take the top slice to the pan and start to fry with the butter side down. 
  6. The other buttered slice that was on the bottom now goes on top with the butter side up to complete the sandwich.
  7. Fry for 3-4 minutes before turning over and frying on the other side.
  8. Top with some extra cheese and place under the broiler for 3-5 minutes.
  9. Once you have a nice golden colour and the cheese has melted, it’s ready to serve!

3. Dry stale sourdough into breadcrumbs

Why not fully dry your sourdough bread to make breadcrumbs. How does making kiev’s, schnitzels or southern fried chicken from scratch sound? Yummy!

To make breadcrumbs, chop the bread into chunks and leave it to dry out till hard on the worktop for a day or two. Alternatively, you can dry them out by baking them in the oven at a coolish temperature for an hour.

Once dry, place the chunks of dry bread into the blender and whizz until fine.

If you’re confident that they are dry, you can store them in a sealed tub for a few weeks before using them. Although, it’s best to put them in the freezer if you are not going to use them straight away. 

What can you make with homemade bread crumbs?

Here are a few options to cook up with your freshly-made bread crumbs:

4. Meatballs

Use bread crumbs to soak up the moisture in your meatballs to help them hold their shape. Here’s a recipe I recommend:

5. Beef burgers

It’s fairly easy to knock up some burgers with some diced onion, ground beef and an egg. Adding breadcrumbs help to bulk up the recipe and keeps the burgers moist. You can also make some burger buns to serve them.

6. Kofte kebabs

I have a soft spot for kebabs, they are so delicious and can be really healthy if served with a vibrant salad, not with loads of chilli sauce and garlic mayo! 

7. Pasta bakes

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on pasta dishes before putting in the oven for an exciting crunch!

8. Cut up the stale sourdough to thicken sauces and fillings

Adding a handful of dryish sourdough bread to a sauce or pie filling is a great way of adding texture to a sauce. A handy solution that will thicken up a runny sauce with little effort whilst tasting delicious!

9. Using leftover sourdough bread in soup

Adding a handful of dried pieces of sourdough bread to a bowl of soup as it’s served is an integral part of some soup dishes. And it works in many types of soup too! The bread remains slightly crunchy whilst soaking up the juices for an amazing flavour. It’ll also be more filling. It’s definitely worth a try when making a French onion soup!

10. Panzanella salad

A fantastic salad which I recently discovered is the Panzanella salad. It uses up stale sourdough to make a fun, healthy dish that’s really filling.

To make a Panzanella salad

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C.

Step 2: Tare the bread into rough chunks, toss in a little olive oil and season.

Step 3: Bake the bread for 10-15 minutes until it just starts to crisp. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Step 4: Slice a red and yellow pepper into strips, place on a baking sheet with a handful of small tomatoes. Drizzle some olive oil, season and add a clove of garlic.

Step 5: Increase the heat to 200C and roast the vegetables until charred. Then remove them to cool a little.

Step 6: In a bowl, whisk together some more olive oil, a drop of white vinegar and a small chopped shallot. Season to taste. Toss the tomatoes, peppers, toasted bread and a handful of sliced olives into the dressing. Spoon the Panzanella onto a plate and top with a few basil leaves. 

11. Making sourdough croutons

Making some sourdough croutons is a fantastic way to spunk up your favourite soup. Mines leek and potato by the way! Once made, cool them down and if kept in a sealed container they’ll stay fresh for a week.

How to Make Sourdough Croutons:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180C.

Step 2: Dice the stale sourdough bread.

Step 3: Take a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and some dried herbs.

Step 4: Toss the bread in it and bake until crisp and golden, around 15 minutes.

For garlic croutons, you can add a clove of garlic to the tray and roast alongside the croutons. The delicious roasted garlic flavour will absorb into the bread!.

12. Make bruschetta with the dry sourdough

A bruschetta or cracker bread topped with fresh zingy toppings is one of my favourite ways to use up old sourdough bread. It’s really easy to do as well!

  1. Preheat the broiler/grill.
  2. Cut the dry sourdough bread into thin slices.
  3. Unpeel a garlic clove and rub it into the crumb of each slice. One clove will do 5-6 slices easily.
  4. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Turn the bread over to coat the other side.
  7. Place under the heat and cook until they just start to colour.
  8. Turn them over and do the same on the other side.
  9. Remove from the heat and let cool.
  10. Top with your favourite toppings such as pate, soft cheeses, olives, etc and serve!

13. Make French toast with it!

French toast or “pain perdu” is probably more popular in the US than France, but hey, it tastes delicious so I’m not complaining! It’s also a great way to use up the last few slices of bread when it’s dried out a little.

Here’s the recipe I use when I want the best french toast.

14. Or go British and make eggy bread!

Eggy bread is a fantastic accompaniment to a traditional English breakfast, or “fry up” as I tend to call it. Alongside your bacon, sausages, beans, mushrooms, black pudding (not for everyone) and toast, why not save a little room on the plate for some eggy bread?

It’s easy to make.

To make eggy bread

  1. Whisk a whole egg with a dash of milk in a bowl.
  2. Season, and soak two slices of sourdough bread in the eggy mixture for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes has passed, preheat a hot frying plan with some vegetable oil or butter.
  4. Once hot, lift the soaked bread out of the bowl and run a knife or finger over it to wipe away the excess egg.
  5. Fry in the oil for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden brown.

15. Make stuffing with the stale bread

If you’ve seen my best bread for a stuffing post, you’ll know that sourdough isn’t the ideal bread for stuffing, but it is still pretty good. Especially when ground up into smaller chunks!

16. Make a pudding out of stale bread!

You can use your sourdough bread to make a delicious traditional English pudding. Choose from bread pudding, which is a delicious slice of a sweet cake, bread, custardy thing. Or a sourdough bread and butter pudding whilst is a warm pudding that’s baked in custard.

Both similar, both delicious, here are the best recipes:

Bread and butter pudding from BBC

Summer pudding from Delia

Sourdough bread pudding from Food.com

Tear up your stale sourdough and store it in the freezer

If you don’t know what to do with your old bread right now, cut it into slices and bag it up in the freezer. When there comes a need for breadcrumbs or dried bread you’ll find they defrost in no time, and in many cases are fine to use straight out of the freezer.

16 ways to use up your sourdough bread – ending thoughts

I’ve just shared 16 ways to use up old sourdough bread and many uses for bread crumbs and dried bread! But if you don’t want to commit to one of these solutions right away you can store the bread in the freezer till you want to use it.

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