Monday, November 14, 2016

How to Use Up Stale Homemade Bread

It is so sad when a perfectly delicious loaf of homemade bread doesn't get eaten in time. The waste is especially felt by the baker. Sometimes it is not easy to use up stale bread; but if you are going to bake your own bread on a regular basis, it's best to have a few stratagies. When homemade bread becomes the norm, it doesn't always get eaten up as quickly and sometimes even half a loaf can go stale before it has been enjoyed. I don't know anyone who enjoys stale bread with butter or as a sandwich; but if used in the following recipes, stale bread actually tastes much better than fresh.

Did your loaf turn out to be a brick, or get left out too long and dry out? Here's an easy save; just slice it, break it up and maybe give it a pulse in the food processor. Now you have plenty of bread crumbs. Use them up by making gratin side dishes, breaded fish, or chicken, salmon patties, a steamed pudding, crunchy topped casseroles, and of coarse meatloaf. In the meantime you can freeze them and use them directly from the freezer.

French Toast
This one is obvious, who doesn't enjoy French Toast? If you have left over bread just whip an egg with a fork and add some cinnamon and vanilla or almond extract to taste. Soak it up with the stale bread and fry it in a skillet full of butter. Top with maple syrup, compote, organic powdered sugar, caramel sauce and whipped cream or just fruit and enjoy for breakfast or dessert.

This is one I don't make myself because my family doesn't usually enjoy croutons. But, If you make French Onion Soup, or you enjoy them in salads. Just cube your left over bread and fry it in butter and garlic. Feel free to add your favorite herbs.

Stuffing or Dressing
Stuffing is not just for Thanksgiving and makes a nice side to a roast and veggie, or if you add meat or mushrooms it can be it's own main dish-my family loves it. Just cube up your bread, cook some mirepoix in plenty of butter and fresh minced garlic, pour over the dried bread cubes. Add some stock until it's soaked the bread and bake in the oven or cook on the stove-top until desired moistness is achieved. Options for add ins: Toasted nuts, herbs, sausage, shredded chicken, turkey or roast beef, mushrooms, bacon, or ham.

Bread Pudding
If you enjoy this breaded custard, it makes a great breakfast or dessert. Eat it swimming in milk, topped with a scoop of ice cream, on its own, or drizzled with sauce.
Cube six slices of bread. Place in a buttered baking dish, add bits of cold butter throughout as well as choice of fruit or nuts (fresh or frozen.) In a medium bowl, mix 1/4 cup of whole cane sugar or brown sugar, with 1/4 cup of organic sugar or caster sugar, a pinch of salt, and two eggs. Whisk in 500 ml milk and a splash of vanilla extract. Stir in a large handful of raisins. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pour custard into the center of the cubed bread and then pouring the raisins at the bottom evenly over top. Bake for 40 minutes covering the pudding with foil halfway through baking.
Here is a video on YouTube with the original recipe:
I altered the recipe only slightly to suit me.

Hopefully with many options for using up stale homemade bread, you will not be discouraged by having to throw out any of your hard work and precious ingredients. You can also have the comfort that these simple and delicious foods are being prepared with nutricious all homemade ingredients, using relatively little extra effort. To homemade bread and good health!

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