Believe it or not, there are reasons you might need some stale bread one day, and to make it stale yourself, most people use one of two methods: let it dry out naturally over a few days’ time or use your oven to speed up the process.
Why Do People Need Stale Bread?
People can need stale bread for a number of dishes, including stuffing for their turkey, bread crumbs, bread pudding, French toast, and even croutons. If you already have bread in your possession, especially homemade bread, getting bread that is stale is closer and easier than you think. For the best results, start with fresh bread because it gives the bread a better flavor once it stales. Here are the two main ways to make bread stale a lot faster.
- The Time-Consuming Method
If you have some time, this is a great way to get your bread nice and stale when you have a particular dish planned for it. You start by slicing the bread and putting the slices on a cooling rack that you’d normally use for cooling off cookies. Then, you simply wait. Because of the air circulating through the holes in the rack, which is constant, your bread should be nice and stale by the very next day. Keep in mind that for some dishes, you might need to cube the bread next, and this should be taken into consideration when deciding how thick to slice your bread.
- The Speedy Method
In this method, you’ll take the bread and slice it into either cubes or slices, depending on your recipe, then put it on a baking sheet in a 350-degree Fahrenheit oven. Leave it in there for 15–20 minutes, after which it should be nice and stale. It works because the oven will deprive the bread of any moisture, which in turn makes it dry and stale. If, for some reason, the bread isn’t stale enough after 20 minutes or so, keep it in the oven another 5–10 minutes, and that should work.
Which Is Better?
When it comes to letting your bread become stale naturally or giving it a shove by placing it in the oven for a while, there are some things to keep in mind. First, if you’re going to add any type of juice or seasonings to the bread, it’s better to oven-dry it because oven-dried bread has a much better ability to absorb those things than bread that stales naturally. When bread becomes stale naturally, it tends to absorb seasonings and juices a lot less than bread that has been oven-dried does.
What Can You Do with Stale Bread?
Stale, dry bread can be used in numerous dishes, from bread puddings to various casseroles, French onion soup, and so many others. Other dishes include Italian bread salad, soups that need a little thickening, meatloaf that needs to stick together, toppings for foods such as baked pasta and others, and so many others. In fact, all you have to do is go online and research recipes with stale bread as one of the ingredients, and you’ll be surprised by how many of them you find.
There are actually tons of reasons to use stale bread, and it isn’t just needed around holiday time. Indeed, whether you let the bread sit out for a day or two and get stale naturally or cook it in the oven for a while, it can be ready to help you make some delicious dishes all throughout the year. It is easy to do, and even the “slow” method only takes you one to two days, but remember that starting with fresh bread always produces a tastier end product. Regardless of how you dry out your bread, there are lots of yummy uses for it when you’re done.