Waste not, want not. That's how I was raised, and I hold that motto even truer now that I've embraced the organic, sustainable lifestyle. The problem is what to do with scraps. It's easy to toss cuttings from veggies into a delicious vegetable stock. The last pieces of cheese get combined into a fromage fort cheese spread that's perfect for hors d'oeuvres. But what about stale bread?
The more natural your bread is, the quicker it will dry out. Here in France, bread doesn't last longer than a day. But I don't know any French people who throw out that last little bit of crusty baguette, as tough as it might be... and neither should you! Here are 3 great ways to use up stale bread.
3 Delicious Ways To Use Stale Bread
1. Bread Pudding
Leftover baguette, challah, croissants, brioche or cinnamon stale bread is ideal for bread pudding. Cut a combination of whatever stale bread you have lying around into cubes, and spread it in a baking dish. Whisk together a combination of milk, eggs, sugar and butter in the following ratios: 1 cup milk, 1 egg, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter. Increase as needed, depending on the amount of stale bread you have.
Depending on what sort of stale bread you're using, a variety of add-ins can be used. Try:
- 1/3 cup raisins, craisins or dried cherries
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- a combination of pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves or allspice
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Increase the add-ins with the ratio of custard, and you'll soon be well on your way to perfect bread pudding.
A strata is a traditional Italian dish that's similar to a savory bread pudding. What's great about a strata is that you can use pretty much any combination of ingredients to create your perfect recipe. Here are a few great versions to help you make use of your savory stale bread:
If you're dealing with very stale bread--read: rock hard--bread pudding or strata recipes might be out. When this is the case, just make breadcrumbs instead! Cut the stale bread into smaller pieces and put them through the food processor. Pulse until you achieve the texture you desire. Then use them in whatever recipes call for breadcrumbs! Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Vegetarian stuffed tomatoes with goat cheese and caramelized onions
- Homemade black bean burgers
- Super bowl meatloaf
Use the breadcrumbs quickly, as homemade breadcrumbs can spoil.
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