Even baguette that has gone hard or stale can still be used—as long as you know how. Make the most of what you have by reading these tips to find out how to never let stale baguette go to waste again!
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In our house, there is almost always baguette on the counter—whether it’s still soft enough to eat is an entirely different matter.
We always buy it with the intention of freezing it, eating it right away, or serving it at a dinner party. But somehow, some of it always gets left behind and has time to harden before we get the chance to use it up.
I really dislike letting things go to waste. In fact, I’ve been known to serve “compost” to our guests—at least that’s how a friend described it when he tried my side dish of roasted cauliflower leaves. Though to be fair, his exact words were that I “made compost taste good”, so I’m guessing he forgave me for serving it to him.
Whenever I encounter parts of a fruit or vegetable that are “supposed” to be thrown out, I always try my best to find a way to use them, whether it’s roasting cauliflower leaves, making pesto out of radish greens, keeping kale stems for smoothies or freezing citrus zest for later use.
As far as baguette is concerned, I’ve found that as long as you don’t let it go mouldy, there’s always something you can do to avoid wasting it. In this article, I’ve outlined a few ways you can use stale or hard baguette so that you never have to throw it out again!
How to Preserve Fresh Baguette
I realize you might be reading this article to find out what to do with baguette that’s already gone stale. But I thought it was worth noting that if you have a fresh loaf that you know you won’t be able to finish, the best thing to do is freeze it.
Just cut the pieces down to whatever size you want and place them in a resealable bag inside your freezer. Then, just take it out one piece at a time when you’re ready to eat it!
We only go grocery shopping once a week, so we sometimes buy a couple loaves for the express purpose of freezing them. That way, we always have baguette on hand when our kids ask for it!
What to Do with Stale Baguette
Cook with It
Baguette only stays fresh for a limited amount of time. Once that window closes, it quickly starts to harden.
The good news is that many recipes work well with stale bread and some even call for it specifically. These recipes include meatloaf, panzanella salad, French onion soup, French toast, bread pudding and more!
Slice & Freeze It
If your baguette is too stale to eat on its own, but you don’t plan on making anything with it right away, just cut it into slices and place the slices in a resealable bag inside your freezer.
This will prevent the bread from becoming rock-hard and when you do need it, you can just pull it out of the freezer pre-sliced!
Baguette that is hard and stale can also be revived and eaten as is.
To do this, simply wet your loaf using running water and re-bake it in the oven. Some people place the bread straight into the oven to bake, while others wrap it in aluminium foil and only remove the foil for the last few minutes to let the crust crisp up.
Whichever method you choose, just be sure to eat the baguette immediately as it will go hard again pretty quickly and you won’t be able to revive it twice!
What to Do with Hard Baguette
Occasionally, despite our best intentions, we leave our baguette out for too long and it becomes rock-hard. Thankfully, even when that happens, there’s no need to throw it out!
(Unless it’s mouldy, of course. If that happens, you can just throw it into the compost, as long as you cover it well to avoid attracting pests. But I find that baguette tends to go hard long before it goes mouldy.)
The two main things we make using rock-hard baguette are croutons and breadcrumbs.
To make croutons, simply cut the hard baguette into crouton-sized bits. It can be a little tough to cut up, so be sure to keep a solid grip on your knife to avoid injury, especially if you’re as clumsy as I am.
Note: If you’re not planning on using the croutons right away, place them in a container in your freezer until you need them to prevent the bread from getting mouldy.
When you’re ready to use your croutons, toss them with olive oil, fresh herbs and garlic powder, and cook them in a saucepan or in the oven until golden. You can also add salt, pepper or any other spice you like for extra flavour!
We love adding delicious homemade garlic and herb croutons to our salads, and the fact that they’re made from food that would have otherwise gone to waste is a definite plus!
In order to make breadcrumbs from stale baguette, you’ll need a food processor.
I had never owned one until a few years ago and now I don’t know how I ever cooked without it. It shaves so much time of our cooking prep and if you don’t own a pricey high-powered blender, it can sometimes be more effective than a standard blender at making purées.
The one we use even comes with a disk that grates cheese and slices vegetables. It has literally cut in half the time it takes us to make pizzas!
To make breadcrumbs out of stale baguette, you’ll need to cut it into medium-sized pieces. Placing huge pieces of baguette inside your food processor won’t be very effective and might even damage it.
Once you’ve cut up the baguette into workable pieces, use the pulse feature on your food processor to make the pieces smaller. Then, run it until you’re left with only crumbs.
You can store them in a container in your freezer for future use, or you can toast and use them right away. We always use homemade bread crumbs when we make delicious Baked Macaroni & Cheese for supper!
By using any of these options, not only will you never again let stale baguette go to waste, but you’ll also save money on items like croutons and bread crumbs! Subscribe to my newsletter to receive money-saving tips, parenting tips, recipes, as well as easy craft and activity ideas straight in your inbox!