6 Clever Ideas For Using Up Sourdough Bread – HexClad Cookware
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6 Clever Ideas For Using Up Sourdough Bread

by HexClad Cookware

6 Clever Ideas For Using Up Sourdough Bread

When you’ve gotten the hang of making your own sourdough bread from scratch, it might seem impossible that you’d ever get sick of fresh, tangy slices slathered with cultured butter or gently toasted and topped with scrambled eggs. And yet, there comes a time when the realities of making regular sourdough produce so much bread that you are likely to want to mix it up. (Of course, all these ideas apply if you’re buying sourdough, too.)

Want to make your own sourdough first? Try our homemade sourdough boule recipe and check out our beginner’s guide to making your own sourdough for the first time.


There’s a common theme in the best ways to use up sourdough bread: pair it with dairy, whether that’s butter, cheese, or milk or cream. There’s always the option to turn leftover sourdough bread into croutons or breadcrumbs, too. The 6 ideas below make delicious, easy meals using your store bought or homemade sourdough bread.


Though many decadent French toast recipes call for brioche bread to get a custardy interior, using sourdough for French toast yields something sophisticated yet hearty. Swap slices of sourdough for brioche bread in our recipe for Caramelized French Toast with Berry Compote or your favorite recipe. Because of sourdough’s thick crust, you’ll want to let the slices soak in the custard a bit longer before griddling so that they can absorb the liquid and aren’t too tough after cooking.


Controversial opinion: bread salad is the best salad. A Tuscan panzanella puts cubes of bread—in this case, sourdough–front and center in a salad that flips the ratio between vegetables and croutons. You’ll start by letting toasted cubes of sourdough soak up a tomato-based vinaigrette before tossing them with other ingredients like tomatoes, grilled chicken, shredded mozzarella, basil, and chives (just a suggested combination that is great for easy summer dinners). Or, start with Serious Eats’ recipe for Classic Panzanella Salad, which is a perfect side for quickly grilled steak, chicken, or fish.


The Tuscans know how to use up stale bread, and ribollita–a hearty, wintery stew made with chunks of leftover sourdough bread–is perhaps one of the best. You’ll start by sautéing onion, carrots, and celery, before stewing them with lacinato kale, Parmesan, and canned tomatoes. Into this goes a half loaf of sourdough as well as cannellini beans. It’s the perfect meal for a cold day, and a great way to use up excess bread. To make your own pot of Tuscan-inspired bread soup, check out Bon Appétit’s recipe for Simple Ribollita.


The French bistro classic, Croque Monsieur and its egg-topped wife, Croque Madame, might be the ideal way to use up leftover sourdough bread. You’ll start by making a mornay sauce–that’s a béchamel infused with shredded Gruyère cheese, merci beaucoup–which you’ll layer onto butter-toasted slices of sourdough alongside sliced ham, more Gruyère, and a generous swipe of whole grain Dijon. After baking until they reach bubbling glory, you’ll have a Croque Monsieur. Top it with a perfect fried egg and you’ve got a Croque Madame. Make your own with Delish’s recipe for a classic Croque Madame (and simply leave the egg off, if you prefer).


A panade is a dish for people who love the cheese-topped toast on French onion soup better than the soup itself. You’ll start by slicing your leftover sourdough into thin slices before layering them with caramelized onions and Gruyère. It’s a rich and delicious side dish that would be at home on a Thanksgiving table or a casual Sunday brunch alongside eggs. To make your own, try The New York Times’s recipe for French Onion Panade.


If you’re looking for a way to transform your leftover sourdough into dessert, look no further than classic bread pudding, which transforms cubes of stale bread into a luxurious treat. Though traditional bread puddings call for brioche or challah, you can use your stale sourdough bread to make bread pudding. Consider letting it sit in the custard for 30 minutes before baking so that the tougher texture can soak up the liquid more easily. Try The Kitchn’s recipe for Easy Bread Pudding, and if you want to go the extra mile, whisk up a batch of homemade Crème Anglaise to pour overtop.

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