Recipe: Knoedel and Other "Leftover Bread" Ideas

recipe uses for leftover bread

From croutons to bread pudding, that hard as a rock loaf can be converted into a stellar dish. So, don’t toss it, use it!

 Tirolean Speckknoedel.


Servings: Around 10 medium sized dumplings


 "Knoedel" are boiled dumplings found throughout the Alpine regions of Europe. They may have started as a way to salvage bread that had gone stale and might otherwise be thrown out. Many varieties exist and each region gives it their own special touch. This particular variant comes from the Tirol region of the Alps and it is differentiated by the addition of smoked bacon. 


  • 7 oz. of dried white bread or crumbled white rolls. (Our Country Bread or Kaiser Rolls work great!)
  • 5 liquid oz milk
  • 5 oz. smoked bacon or smoked ham
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion
  • butter or clarified butter for sweating the onions
  • 2 tbsp freshly-chopped parsley
  • 2 – 3 tbsp flour
  • salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg
  • For the garnish:
  • melted butter
  • chopped parsley


  • Finely chop the shallots, and cut the smoked ham or bacon into small cubes. Heat some butter or clarified butter in a pan and sweat the onions until translucent. Add the meat and the parsley and fry briefly, before removing from the heat.
  • Place the bread in a bowl. In a separate bowl, beat the milk with the eggs and season well with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour over the bread. Stir in the sausage and onion paste and mix in the flour. Mix together to form a relatively firm dough (adding more bread or flour if necessary) and adjust the seasoning. Smooth the surface of the dough and let it rest for approx. 30 minutes.
  • Boil salted water in a large pot. Form small dumplings out of the dough by moistening your hands regularly with cold water during this process (this ensures a smooth surface of the dumplings)
  • Place dumplings into the boiling water, bring back to a boil, then turn down the heat and allow to simmer gently for around 8-20 minutes, depending on the size.
  • Take out of the water, dry them off well and arrange for serving. Garnish with chopped parsley and browned butter.

Small shaped Tirolean dumplings are often served as a garnish in strong, hot beef broth, while the bigger dumplings are served with warm sauerkraut or salad.


Sourdough Bread Pudding


Servings: 8

Credit: stephanierndos via



  • Place bread cubes in lightly greased 2-quart casserole. In large bowl beat together milk, eggs, egg yolks, sugar, almond extract, nutmeg, & cinnamon. Pour over bread cubes. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Bake in preheated 350°F oven until knife inserted near center comes out clean, about 50 to 60 minutes. Serve with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon, if desired.
  • Note: For a puffier pudding, refrigerate several hours or overnight before baking.).


Homemade Sourdough Croutons


Yield: 4 Cups



  • 4 heaping cups cubed bread
  • 1/3 cup oil, such as extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • In a large bowl, combine the bread, garlic powder, and salt. Drizzle olive oil over bread while stirring. Stir well until bread is coated by all ingredients and olive oil is absorbed.
  • Spread the bread cubes into an even layer on a sheet pan. Don’t crowd the pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. If you’re using super fresh bread, the croutons will take a little longer to become golden brown. If the bread is stale and dry, the croutons may brown faster, so keep an eye on them!


What is your go-to recipe for using your leftover German bread? Show us your recipe in the comments section and we might feature it on our blog!

If you are missing REAL bread to put these ideas into practice, we have you covered. We sell online and deliver nationwide. You can place your order here ->


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  • Timothy Bryson on

    I have never had leftover German bread. Those loaves go fast at my home.

  • Victor Umansky on

    I use left over rye as a snack for my dog because of its high fiber and vitamin content.

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