Most of us are extremely smart about how we use our groceries.
However, in the case of bread, there’s often those leftover pieces at the end that no-one wants to eat. Even if frozen it can be forgotten, and we end up having a loaf of stale bread. Here’s what you can do instead:
1. Croutons. Forget about store bought croutons, homemade croutons take things to a whole other level, and are really easy to make.
Prep the bread according to the shape you need your croutons to be, and place on a baking tray, drizzling butter or oil on it. Bake in a preheated 200 C oven for five minutes, remove the tray, carefully toss croutons and bake another five minutes.
When the croutons are done to your liking, remove them from the oven and cool on the pan. If not using right away, store croutons for a few days in an airtight container.
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2. French toast. This makes a delicious teatime treat, or a weekend breakfast. You need to make this with whole slices of bread, so it’s not one to use with your ‘dead bread’ bag.
Soak your bread slices in beaten egg (you will always need more egg than you think- at least one per person!). Then fry on both sides in melted butter until golden brown.
Serve with tomato sauce or brown sauce and a fried egg or baked beans. Or for a sweet version, sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top while it’s still hot.
3. Bread pudding. Whether you’re up for a sweet dessert or a savoury side dish, stale bread is the winning force behind an excellent bread pudding.
4. Breadcrumbs. Whizz up your stale old bits of bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs for topping pasta bakes, or for thickening soups and casseroles. You can freeze your breadcrumbs, or dry them out on a baking tray in a very low oven and store them in an airtight container.You can add herbs and salt if you want a savoury mix for dishes. Add some brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and coconut flakes for a delicious ice cream topper, or leave the crumbs plain for versatility.
5. Bread dumplings. Semmelknoedel are German dumplings that are a little bit like Italian gnocchi, but are made using stale bread and milk. Enjoy in a soup, topped with mushroom gravy or marinara, alongside meats and fish, or however you like your dumplings. Create a slightly sweeter version (minus the garlic, pepper, and herbs) and eat warm with honey, almonds, and ricotta cheese.