Take last Sunday's swap. I bought a baguette for sampling my raspberry lime jam and brought home a half loaf of hearty granola bread. I still had a good portion of the baguette leftover after the swap and I knew I wouldn't finish both breads before they got stale or moldy.
So, I chopped up the rest of the baguette and sprinkled the pieces with a little EVOO and the salt/garlic/basil mix I'd also gotten at the swap. After about 20 minutes in the oven at 300 degrees, voila! I had a batch of homemade croutons and continued eating the granola bread with almond butter for breakfast.
Here's a look at several ways to use leftover bread instead of simply tossing it.
The granola bread was simply too tasty to freeze but most breads can be stored in the freezer for 3-6 months. I wouldn't defrost bread and eat it plain but if you toast it, you can hardly tell the difference. I've also heard that frozen bread can be turned into bread crumbs (see #4) using a cheese grater.
- Bread pudding.
I love the carb-filled gooeyness of bread pudding, and Cooking Light's recipe for bread pudding with salted caramel sounds divine! Once the bread soaks up the egg, sugar, and spices, it's nearly impossible to tell if it was once a teensy bit stale.
True story: my parents used to reward me for good behavior as a kid with croutons. I loved that savory crunch and still do. In fact, I'm just as likely to eat croutons as a snack or in a soup or salad. As you can tell above, making your own croutons is super-simple.
- Bread crumbs.
To make your own bread crumbs, toast the bread and pulse in a food processor until you achieve the desired texture. You can add spices or use them plain. It's that simple. I love baking eggplant in the oven with a little egg and flour to bind the bread crumbs to the eggplant slices. Add a little marinara sauce (bonus: I scored some at the last swap) and some pasta for an easy Italian dinner.
- French toast.
Stale bread is perfect for french toast because it nicely soaks up the egg and milk mixture. I adore Fitness Magazine's slimmed recipe for stuffed French toast. Yum!
Your turn! How do you use leftover bread? Leave a comment and let us know!