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Kids Club Vol. 48: Bread



Welcome to the latest issue of our ChopChop Kids Club newsletter!

This month we’re using up stale bread! Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving recipe that uses stale bread? Whether you call it dressing or stuffing, please send it to us—we’d love to include one in a future issue. In the meantime, we’re taking that dried-out or day-old loaf and making French toast and easy croutons, and we’re learning what folks do with stale bread in other countries too. Just because it’s past its best for eating fresh doesn’t mean stale bread isn’t a wonderful waste-free cooking ingredient! We’re pretty sure you’ll agree.

Happy cooking.

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Baked Apple French Toast

baked apple french toast on a plate

Baked Apple French Toast

This baked breakfast dish is a cross between bread pudding and traditional French toast. It’s an especially festive dish—our Kids Advisory Board member Thomas tested it and wrote, “My dad said it would make a great holiday breakfast.”
Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 6 -8 Servings

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Large bowl
  • Whisk or fork
  • Medium ovenproof skillet
  • Heatproof spatula
  • Pot holders


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus extra for serving
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch salt
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 apples, peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


  • Turn on the oven and set the heat to 375 degrees. Use the oil to grease the aluminum foil and set it aside.
  • Put the eggs, milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in the bowl and, using the whisk or fork, mix well. Add the bread cubes and push the cubes down until the bread has soaked up most of the liquid, about 2 minutes. Set aside to finish soaking while the apples are cooking.
  • Put the skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium-low. Add the butter and, when it has melted, add the apples and cinnamon. Cook until the apples are tender and caramelized, about 7 minutes.
  • Put the bread mixture on top of the apples and, using the spatula, press down so that the mixture is flat. Carefully cover with the aluminum foil, oiled side down (the skillet will be hot, so this is a job for an adult).
  • Once the oven temperature has reached 375 degrees, put the skillet in the oven and bake until the mixture is set, about 45 minutes.
  • Serve right away, drizzled with maple syrup.


Prepare this the night before and then bake it in the morning. Simply follow the recipe through step 4, then refrigerate overnight. In the morning, turn the oven on and set the heat to 375 degrees, then proceed with the rest of the recipe.
You might think that they call French toast just plain toast in France, but they don’t! They call it pain perdu, which means “lost bread,” because it’s a way to use up a loaf that’s gone stale.
If you use stale bread when you make French toast, it will soak up the egg mixture more easily. If your bread is fresh, lightly toast it first.

Kitchen Skill: How to Soften Stale Bread

Before you try one of our fantastic stale-bread recipes, feel free to see if your loaf can be revived! (This works best with unsliced bread.)

  1. Check the bread for mold. If it’s moldy, toss it.
  2. Otherwise, rinse the loaf under the faucet and wrap it in aluminum foil.
  3. Put it in a 350°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on how dry it is). The water will create steam, and the steam will soften the bread.
  4. Use pot holders to take the bread out of the oven. If you want to crisp the crust, remove the foil and pop the bread back in (right on the rack) for 5 or so more minutes.
Photo by Skylar Kang

Try This Now: DIY Croutons

croutons beauty

Do-It-Yourself Croutons

Make the most of what you’ve got by transforming stale bread into a crunchy, delicious salad topper. 
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 cups

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Large bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Tongs
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Pot holders


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 slices whole-grain bread (stale is fine), cut into 1-inch squares


  • Turn the oven on and set the heat to 375 degrees.
  • Put the oil and salt in the bowl and stir them together.
  • Add the bread squares and toss with tongs or your hands until the squares are completely coated with oil.
  • Spread the bread out on the baking sheet. Once the oven temperature has reached 375 degrees, put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the croutons are just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Carefully take the baking sheet out of the oven and use tongs to flip the croutons over, then put them back in the oven and bake until deeply browned and crisp, another 5 or so minutes.
  • Let the croutons cool completely before serving. They can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days. 

The earliest evidence of bread baking comes from the Black Desert in Jordan, where a 14,000-year-old loaf was discovered in 2018. The bread was made from wheat and barley, along with other wild plants that were mixed with water and baked on hot stones.

Feed Your Mind

Bread, Bread, Bread 

By Ann Morris 

Photographs by Ken Heyman

People eat bread all over the world, and this book combines photographs and simple descriptions to show you some of the many variations. If you have a younger sibling at home, this is a really fun and easy book to read to them. There are amazing pictures of different loaves to remind you that most people around the world aren’t eating sliced bread that comes in a plastic bag. (One picture shows “bread with a hole.” Can you think of a kind of bread that could be described that way?)

Edible Vocabulary

Can you match the bread dish with its description?

1. Fattoush

2. Ribollita

3. Panzanella

4. Strata 

5. Migas

6. Gazpacho

7. Pain Perdu

8. Matzo Brei


A. An Italian tomato salad with cubes of stale bread

B. The translation is “lost bread,” and it’s what they call French toast in France

C. A Spanish soup traditionally made from raw tomatoes and thickened with stale bread

D. A Jewish dish made from unleavened bread and eggs

E. A bread-thickened Italian vegetable soup

F. A Mexican dish made from stale tortillas and eggs

G. A layered American casserole of eggs and bread

H. A Middle Eastern salad made with vegetables, herbs, and pita bread



1 H; 2 E; 3 A; 4 G; 5 F; 6 C; 7 B; 8 D

Got More Stale Bread? Try These Recipes

Classic French Toast
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