Bread is one of the most popular and common foods, and can be found in any household. From breakfasts and lunches to dinner side dishes, it is always there to bolster and improve any meal.
However, if your household is anything like mine you will find that you often have slices of bread and bread rolls that are growing slightly stale and risk going to waste.
Over the years I have experimented with several recipes that allow me to use up bread that is going stale and save it from the rubbish bin. Here I share with you some of the dishes that I have discovered in my fight against food waste.
Sweet bread pudding
This is a really easy and versatile thing to make. Take the bread slices and put them into a baking dish. You don’t need to be too exact- the bread can overlap if you need it to, or it can lie flat on the bottom of the dish if that works for you. Next, you need to take a look in the cupboards for some other ingredients. You will need some eggs and a little bit of milk or cream for the base of this pudding. Then, you can add dry fruits, chocolate, or any other ingredients that you have in the kitchen. Mix together the eggs and fruit with a little sugar before pouring over the bread slices. Bake in the oven until the egg mixture is cooked. You can even layer up the bread and egg mixture to make multiple tiers and layers. This goes really well with a dollop of ice cream, or some custard.
Croutons make any soup or salad into something special and hearty. Croutons are really easy to make,and stale bread is preferable when you are looking to achieve good, crispy croutons. Cut the bread into cubes and put into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and add in any herbs that you like – this could be some basil, salt, pepper, or even some chili powder. Place the bread on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle with cheese before popping into a hot oven for a few minutes.
This may sound like an obvious use for stale bread, butso many people buy premade breadcrumbs when they have bread sitting in the cupboard at home. Breadcrumbs are really easy to make if you have a small food processor. They can be used to make a crispy crumb for chicken and fish or used in homemade burgers. Breadcrumbs are also great for the top of a nice cheesy pasta bake as they add a little crunch to the great cheesy flavour.
We often have sandwiches for lunch or tea in our house,and one of the things that my kids love the most is when I pop their sandwiches into our sandwich toaster. If the bread is too soft and bouncy, it tends to stick in the sandwich toaster and doesn’t offer a good crispy finish. However, if the bread is slightly dry and stale it makes much better and much crispier toasties. Our favourite fillings are cheese and tomato and ham and cheese.
So, the next time you have half a loaf of stale bread in the cupboard don’t throw it out or see it as waste, but use it to make a treat for all of the family.