Dip'n Coffee Or: How to Use Stale Bread

Total Time
Prep 5 mins
Cook 20 mins

There were times when older (and younger, too) people had bad teeth or no teeth at all. When people couldn't afford to discard stale bread because they were happy to have bread at all. Need is the mother of invention - make fondue or raclette out of old bread and old cheese when you have nothing else to eat but have to see how you can manage that old stuff with bad teeth or no teeth at all. That's the swiss way. Germans seem to be more simple minded: Just dip your stale bread into hot coffee or tea. In my area of Germany there is something called "Knabbeln" which my dear FIL introduced to me. He used to get up at four in the morning, put the ingredients for white bread into his bread machine, start the machine and then go back to bed until the bread was ready. One day the yeast he used must have been too old, the bread came out as a brick stone. So he smashed the brick stone into smaller pieces, put them in the oven to make kind of rusk which he brought me, telling me that when he was young this was called Knabbeln. Toast old bread so that it doesn't get bad and then have it for a simple breakfast with hot coffee or tea or for a fast lunch with some soup. Now like cheese fondue or raclette, we developed our ultimate comfort food out of this old time need. Measurements and prep time are just fantasy - actually you can just take some stale rolls, a cup of your favourite coffee and start enjoying...

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 lb stale bread
  • 2 cups hot coffee
  • 12 cup milk, heated
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar (optional)
  • 12 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. break the bread into chunks suitable for dipping into hot liquid.
  3. place the bread chunks onto baking tray lined with non stick baking parchment.
  4. optionally mix melted butter with sugar and cinnamon, brush the bread chunks with the mixture.
  5. toast bread chunks in the oven until light brwon and crisp (depending on your liking - as you will soften them by dipping, every stage of crispness before burning is okay).
  6. let toasted bread chunks cool.
  7. you can make some Knabbeln ahead and store them in a cookie container.
  8. when bread chunks are completely cooled, stir together hot coffee, hot milk and sugar (you may use non dairy creamer instead of milk or artificial sweetener or no sweetener at all, according to your taste).
  9. dip bread chunks into hot coffee and enjoy :-).
Most Helpful

5 5

My mother in law sends me something similar to this to dip in coffee or tea, but it is not sweetened at all. With this one, I did not sweeten the coffee and it worked out great. Made for Ramadan Tag 2010

5 5

I am 1/2 German descent, so this must be where this "recipe" fits into my life. This was a treat at home when I was a kid. The bread didn't even have to be stale. It could just be toasted and dunked. I don't even think I have given it a thought for about 45 years. I'll be on top of it in the morning. Thanks for a nostalgic thrust.

5 5

This is a really nice breakfast snack. I had never heard of this before, but it's so simple and yummy. I did the cinnamon-sugar mixture but dipped in black coffee. Thanks for the nice snack Mia and absolutely loved the story! Made for ZWT6 for the Unrulies Under the Influence.

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