You Should Never Throw Out A Stale Baguette. Here's Why

There are few things that scream French like a baguette. These long, slender, golden loaves of chewy bread are so delicious and versatile, we could eat them with every meal, particularly if they are freshly baked and still warm. Baguettes can be quite satisfying. Buy one of these beauties in France, and quality is not only guaranteed but required. Per MasterClass, there is a law in place that regulates its ingredients. The French ensure this bread's goodness by mandating baguettes can only be made with wheat, water, yeast, and salt. Nothing else. And according to Food & Wine, the Bread Decree of 1993 also is in place to make certain that French baguettes are never frozen and that wherever they are made is also where they are sold.  

The word "baguette" roughly translates into English as "wand" or "stick," and interestingly enough, the baguette did not receive its moniker until the mid-20th century. In our humble opinion, this bread by any other name would not taste as good. The one downside with baguettes is their short shelf life. Sadly, they get stale and hard pretty quickly. But don't send this bread down the garbage disposal if you find it hard as rocks. There are plenty of ways to breathe new life into your baguette when it is past its prime. Here's how.   

A dried-out baguette has many uses

MasterClass notes that if you find your baguette a bit parched and in need of hydration, you can first place it under running water to moisten it up. We know, that sounds kind of scary and weird, but they go on to explain you want to preheat your oven to between 300 and 325 degrees Fahrenheit and bake it for 6-12 minutes. That should restore it to its original greatness. However, if that doesn't work, don't give up on your baguette. It still has value. MasterClass suggests using it to make a bread pudding, French toast, or even German bread dumplings known as knödel.

Epicurious also has a laundry list of suggestions on how you can still use your dried-out baguette so it doesn't go to waste. These include making lusciously sweet bread and butter pudding with bourbon sauce. If dessert isn't your thing, you can throw your baguette into the food processor, pulverize it, and use the bread crumbs for breading meats or sprinkling over pasta. You can also use your stale baguette as a thickener for a pappa al pomodoro, which is a rich tomato-based soup. And the list doesn't end there. From a heavenly bell pepper and goat cheese strata that will have brunch guests going back for seconds, to meatballs, to toasted crostini, there is a lot you can do with a baguette that is no longer fresh and soft on the inside.