Home > Storing Leftovers > Storing and Using Leftover Bread

Storing and Using Leftover Bread

By: Anna Hinds BA (hons) - Updated: 18 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Storing And Using Leftover Bread

Don’t bin those leftover crusts and stale bread – use them for cooking, storing or freezing instead. Here’s our guide to making the most of those crusty leftover scraps that nobody wanted to eat…

Storing Leftover Bread

If you’ve ever left a loaf in the cupboard for a week – and forgotten about it – you’ll know that bread doesn’t store well! That green mould is edible but not tasty... Vigilance is required here. If nobody in the family will eat the crusts, think ahead and remove them immediately, popping them into a sealable sandwich bag and into the freezer (more about how to use them later).

If you’re notoriously forgetful and there’s almost always a greenish loaf lurking in the kitchen, set up a bird-table in the garden! Then you can put out your breadcrumbs once a week and you’ll enjoy the sight of happy birds – the absence of whom will remind you to put out the next bits.

If you want to eat the remains of an unsliced loaf the next day – a baguette or country loaf – then sprinkle it with a little water, and reheat it in a medium oven. It will emerge crunchy on the outside and soft, warm and fluffy on the inside!

Freezing Home Baked Bread

Bread crusts – and half-loaves – freeze very well. Slice them before putting into sealable bags, labelling (or you’ll forget what it was, we guarantee it!) and freezing.

If you have a breadmaker then you’ll know that home-baked bread just doesn’t keep as well as the packaged stuff. That’s because your home-baked bread doesn’t contain all the preservatives and additives of a manufactured loaf. Adding milk to the dough (in place of some of the water), and keeping bread in airtight containers at room temperature, will help to improve keeping qualities.

But the best thing to do is to let your baked loaf cool, and slice half of it immediately. When it’s cool, bag it up in two-slice portions, label and freeze. These will be perfect for toast.

Making & Using Croutons

Croutons are great for soup: many children (and adults!) love them. And they’re so easy to make: thickly slice your loaf (stale is OK, but not green!) then turn crossways and cut into large cubes. In a bowl or on an oven tray, toss the cubes in a little olive oil with your hands, adding salt, rosemary or thyme if liked. Bake in a low oven until golden and crunchy, before storing in an airtight container. The croutons are lovely sprinkled over soup or a Caesar salad.

Making & Using Breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs are indispensable for the home cook, because they can be used in so many ways: blitzed with mince to make croquettes, mashed with beans for burgers, or used as a coating for meat or fish. You can blitz stale bread to make ‘fresh’ breadcrumbs, or toast it before blitzing to create more crunchy ones (ideal for coating chicken or white fish).

Bag them and label before freezing – you’ll soon find more and more ways to use your crumbs in cooking, like dry-frying and sprinkling over a bowl of spaghetti or covering a vegetable gratin before baking.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Milly
    Re: How to Store and Cook Leftover Vegetables
    Have cooked chopped butternut squash. onions, peppers ,mushrooms and sweet potato. Can I freeze what I dont use?
    24 September 2020
  • Ell_Cee
    Re: Defrosting Food Safely
    I froze chicken before the use by date. Yesterday I defrosted it & left it in the fridge 24hrs, the use by date is past (7th July, it is…
    12 July 2020
  • Suzette
    Re: Dry and Store Tomatoes and Fruit
    Hi, I’m new to growing and saving fruit and vegetables. Thank you for the tips/advice on your site. What’s the best way to…
    1 July 2020
  • Lou
    Re: How to Freeze Cakes and Baked Goods
    Hi I'm really stuck got loads of fresh strawberries x I want to make strawberry sponges x and strawberry muffins can I…
    9 June 2020
  • Kell
    Re: Defrosting Food Safely
    I put chicken breasts in fridge to defrost last night but when I checked this morning I hadn't them fully covered? Can I still use them
    1 April 2020
  • Pat
    Re: How to Freeze Cakes and Baked Goods
    Can home made treacle cakes be frozen. If yes, for how long?
    24 March 2020
  • Di.
    Re: How to Store and Cook Leftover Vegetables
    I juice veggies, How long can you refrigerate or freeze vegetable pulp ??
    4 March 2020
  • Sandwiches71
    Re: How to Pickle Onions
    I’ve dry brined the onions for 16hrs, rinsed well and left to dry. The onions are soft, should I bin and start again? Thanks
    27 November 2019
  • Denise
    Re: Recipes for Cakes to Freeze
    I am interested to know whether I can freeze a strawberry cake with fresh whipped cream in a crystal dish for two weeks
    6 October 2019
  • Marla
    Re: How to Freeze Dairy Products
    I love your ice cream as we just moved to Fountain Hills from Anacortes WA area. I also love the San Juan Friday Harbor ice cream…
    27 September 2019