If you're like me, you've found yourself in a vicious cycle of buying big beautiful boules and baguettes, only to eat half then sadly throw the stale leftovers away. A few summers ago, I challenged myself to go the whole season without ever throwing away good bread, and I started to make everything from bread thickened soups like pappa al pomodoro to jars of homemade breadcrumbs.
In the sweets department, there is an obvious choice for using up stale bread: bread pudding. I happen to love this warm, custardy dessert, so it's a nice coincidence that it's best when made with stale bread. (It allows the cubes to soak up the liquid without turning to mush.) Another good option? A fruit-based panzanella that can easily be adapted to whatever's in season.
Check out the slideshow above to see 9 ways to turn your stale bread into dessert, or go straight to the recipes below.
Salted Caramel Banana Bread Puddings
Thai Coffee Bead Pudding
Rhubarb Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce
Summer Fruit Panzanella
White Chocolate Bread Pudding
Classic Challah Bread Pudding
Capirotada (Bread Pudding with Raisins, Apricots, and Cheese)
Hot Chocolate Bread Pudding
Banana-Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding