Pro Tips

Ina Garten Has This Pro Tip For Making Tasty Use of Stale Bread Instead of Wasting It

Read Ina Garten's hack for how to use stale bread before you toss that loaf.

Stale bread beyond the point of recovery happens to the best of us — but not, of course, to Ina Garten. The culinary wiz is not one to let half a baguette or a few leftover rolls go to waste. And for her followers that are wondering how to use stale bread when they find themselves with their own surplus at home, she has the kind of tip that makes us think: Why didn't we think of this — and heat up a pan — before

In a recent Instagram post, Ina wrote: "Leftover bread in the freezer? Half an uneaten baguette from dinner? Why not turn it into homemade croutons! They’re great on soups, in salads (like my favorite, Panzanella!) and oh, yes, they’re also good to eat hot right out of the pan!" OK, Ina, we're listening... 

The so-called Barefoot Contessa also posted a video to demonstrate how the pros make croutons. While ordinary civilians tend to toss oil and bread cubes into the pan together, Ina revealed that professional cooks heat up the pan first, then add in the oil. When the oil gets really hot, that's when you add the croutons. 

"That way, the croutons get nice and brown, but they don't absorb the oil so much," she said. And by the way: This works for onions or anything you're sauteeing in a pan. "Heat up the oil first; it makes such a difference," Garten said. 

That's it, everyone — the final word on how to use stale bread. The countess has spoken.

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