Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Don't Throw Your Leftover Bread - Use Them Up

Most of us always have bread in the house, and whether its home-baked or store-bought, we seem to keep getting leftover bread. Even if you put it in the fridge, many times you just find yourself staring at a stale bread but you just can't seem to throw it out. Leftover bread can be used for all sorts of different things. Here are what I find the best suggestions to convert them into something new and delicious. 

Bake it one more time. If you have more than just a few slices left, spritz the surface of the loaf with a little water and bake it in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes. You can also spread margarine on both sides of the slices and sprinkle with brown sugar before baking or toasting. Everyone loves buttered-toasted bread. 

French toast. This is a lovely idea any time of the day. Whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla and pour over your leftover bread slices. You may cook right away or soak for a few minutes, then fry in a butter on a griddle or fry pan. Serve plain, with peanut butter, jam, fresh fruit, or maple syrup. I like eating mine as is, the taste of the bread soaked in milk and egg (I don't use vanilla) is already very gratifying.

Bread pudding. Soak any leftover bread in a creamy mixture of milk, or simply layer slices of the old bread in a casserole dish to make the pudding. You will love custardy and eggy finished puddings out of these bread pieces. This is another kid and grown-up favorite snack. You will enjoy this fruity tasting bread pudding recipe.

Breadcrumbs. Chunk the bread and drop into a food processor or blender then whir. There go breadcrumbs right from your kitchen! Store them in the freezer and enjoy ready cups of crumbs when you need them. Some toast the bread until crunchy, grind and store in an airtight container. They use it as topping for just about any dessert they can think of.

Croutons. If you're fond of croutons, it's another way to use up leftover bread. Croutons are perfect for green salads and as a garnishing. Here is a crouton recipe with a salad attached.

Use to thicken soups. Leftover bread can be used to thicken your soups. Simply throw in a few chunks to add body to your soup. If you haven't done this, try making puree soups with bread. You will be amazed you don't actually use cream to make creamy soups.

Meatballs. Did you know that leftover or "stale" bread acts as a binder for any kind of shaped meat dishes like meatballs? the bread absorbs any extra liquid and holds the meat together through cooking. 

If you don't have time to do all of these, just pack leftover bread in a freezer container and freeze. It thaws in a few minutes by the time you would need them, then choose any of the above. For as long as you're willing to save your leftover bread, all things work fine.