With the humble loaf being one of the most wasted foods in the Western World, we can cut down on the throwaways with some great ways to use stale bread. What may not feel good to eat as a sandwich is still perfectly good to eat in other ways. Try these ways to use stale bread and cut down your food wastage
1. Plain Breadcrumbs
This is one of the classic ways to use stale bread. Breadcrumbs have lots of culinary uses. You can make breadcrumbs with a grater or by blitzing in a processor. Once made, store them in an air-tight container or freeze them.
2. Fancy Breadcrumbs
There are various ways to pimp up your plain breadcrumbs. For savory dishes, add dried herbs. For sweet crumbs toss in things like brown sugar, ginger, cinnamon, coconut flakes or cocoa powder. Breadcrumbs with cinnamon and cocoa for example, make a delicious topping for vanilla ice cream.
Toast is one of the best uses for stale bread, but you can do so much other than just butter it for breakfast. You could make your own Melba toast (wafer thin toast – plenty of instructions online) to serve with pate or a dip if you’re throwing a party. Toast a slice of stale bread, cover it with cheese and put it under the broiler (it’s really good with a dash of Worcestershire sauce) Or, how about toast pizza? Cover the bread with chopped tomatoes and grated cheese (with a pinch of herbs if you like) and stick it under the hot broiler.
4. Bread and Butter Pudding
You know that bread is really versatile right? Well, when it comes to bread and butter putting – another of the classic uses of stale bread – did you know you can go the sweet or savory route? For a sweet pudding, made from buttered slices of bread and custard, you can add marmalade or a fruit curd to the slices. For savory, there are all sorts of ideas. You could make cheese sandwiches for the layers or add roasted veggies. Ina Garten has a recipe for foodnetwork.com Mushroom and Leek Bread and Butter Pudding.
You’re all familiar with the crunch that croutons add to salads but there are salads that make the most of stale bread in other ways. You might like to try Fattoush – a Middle Eastern salad that uses bread and veggies or the Mediterranean version from Italy, the Panzanella, which uses fresh tomatoes, herbs and olive oil. You’ll find plenty of recipes for both salads online.
One of my favorite dips is taramasalata but I’d never have thought of making it myself. I might just do that now I know it is one of the ways to use leftover bread. Taramasalata is a fish roe spread – that description might not sound appetizing, but this dip from Greece is very delicious, especially with warm pita bread. foodnetwork.com Here’s a link to a recipe for taramasalata.
Your thoughts might be turning to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Stale bread is great for stuffing roast meat. Some recipes will call from breadcrumbs, while others will be as easy as tearing the bread into chunks. Bread is a brilliant carrier for all sorts of flavorings that will guarantee your holiday roasts are a big success.
This was just a few simple ways to use stale bread but there are so many more. From feeding the birds to making rusks for teething babies to even making Christmas decorations, as well as lots of yummy recipes, savory and sweet, there really isn’t any need to throw bread in the garbage or on the compost heap – unless you’ve let it go moldy.
What’s your bread usage like? Do you throw away as much as you use? Going to change that now?