It must be hanging around old italian families all these years I learned to TRY to never throw away stale bread. You can make bread crumbs, salad croutons, bread pudding, and bread salad with them. I'm not talking Wonder Bread, I'm talking wholesome rustic breads (for croutons) that have lots of grains and fiber in them. If you're still eating Wonder Bread go to the back of the class... We eat good here. Eating well, but smart, is one way. So here's some tips and recipes: Croutons: my favorite way to use up stale bread. If it's a rustic loaf like a Ciabatta slice fat slices and then cut the slices in logs and the logs into cubes. Place in a big cast iron skillet - season vigorously with EVO, Garlic Salt and Herbs de Provance. Roast in a 450 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes and toss with a spoon about every 5 minutes. They'll get a wonderful golden brown color. Kids can eat this instead of popcorn it's so good. Bread crumbs: no not the stale stuff you get in the store, fuggetaboutit !! Take the stale bread, slice it and then place slices on a big sheet pan, roast at 400 for about 8-10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Now put into food processor and pulse until you reach the desired consistency you want. Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag. They beat the hell outta store bought. Bread salad - I remember the first time I saw this in the restaurant I worked at. We had a deli counter that was from Heaven. The boss took a couple loaves of of a rustic bread we called battone (bat) and made this. Use a zesty viniagrette or follow my suggestions for this. This can be a great change of pace meal on a hot night when you don't wanna cook. Serve this with a platter of cold cuts or your best antipasto... 4 cups stale bread cut into large cubes 1 large cucumber, peeled "rustic" (leave some of the green on) halved and sliced 2-3 tomatoes halved and cubed 1 medium purple onion, halved and sliced thin 1 cup fresh chopped curly parsley 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained viniagrette 1/2 tsp red pepper flake S&P to taste Combine ingredients in bowl, give it a good toss. Refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before serving so flavors can combine. Very good !! Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce Bread Pudding Mis en place: 4 large eggs 1 cup whole milk 1 cup whipping cream 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon pinch fresh grated nutmeg Pinch of salt 4 cups day-old rustic bread with crusts, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces 1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped 1/2 cup raisins Butter 8-inch square baking dish. Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl. Mix bread, raisins and pecans in prepared dish. Pour milk mixture over and let stand 5 minutes. Push down bread into custard. Refrigerate 2 hours, pushing bread into custard occasionally. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place bread pudding in large metal baking pan. Add enough boiling water to baking pan to come 1 inch up sides of dish with bread pudding. Bake until pudding is puffed and golden brown on top, approximately 50 minutes. Remove dish with bread pudding from water and cool slightly. Cut into squares. Serve bread pudding warm with sauce. Bourbon Sauce Mis en place: 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 1/2 cup sugar 3 tablespoons whipping cream 2 tablespoons bourbon Pinch of salt Melt butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Simmer until thickened, whisking often, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly. Makes about 1/2 cup.