Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ideas For Stale Bread

Yesterday, I opened the bread drawer and realized there was an entire loaf of bread that was past its prime. Luckily, it was just getting stale, not moldy. So, that is what has sparked today's money saving post. It makes me very sad when food is wasted and I try to make sure no food ends up in the garbage. Here's some great ideas to use up that stale bread, whether it's a slice or two or a whole loaf:

1. Make a batch of french toast - separate slices with waxed paper, pop into a zippy bag and freeze. When ready, take the desired amount of slices out and heat them in the toaster. Perfect for school mornings when you don't have time to make homemade. (Did this with half of my loaf)

2. Make homemade croutons. This works especially well with multi-grain or other hearty breads. Cut the bread into cubes, drizzle a little bit of olive oil or melted butter, mix well. Sprinkle with your choice of seasonings and "toast" in a low temperature oven until crunchy.

3. Make a breakfast strata. It's a casserole that uses bread, eggs and some other ingredients. Just google for a recipe. If you're not going to eat it right away, freeze it for a lazy Sunday morning!

4. Whir stale slices in your food processor to make bread crumbs. I usually do this with the ends and keep a container in the freezer. I haven't purchased bread crumbs in years!

5. Use it to make bread pudding. Again, just google the recipe.

6. Refresh it. The most successful revival technique seems to be: Heat the oven to 300ºF. Place the bread in a paper bag. Close the bag and dampen it slightly. Bake the bagged bread for about 5 minutes or until it is like new. You have to be ready to eat the bread in 10 minutes, or it will get even harder than before.

7. Make grilled sandwiches. Grilled sammies are a treat and it really doesn't matter if the bread is fresh or stale, they turn out great! (we had grilled cheese and tomato soup with the other half of our loaf)

8. If all else fails, feed it to our fine feathered friends. They're looking extra hard for food during cold winter months!

Hope this helps someone to stretch that food budget a little bit further!