Thursday, September 29, 2011

Leftover Bread Recipes

Last weekend I made a lot of bread. I knew it was more than I could eat without gaining a bunch of weight back or feeling gross, but what is a girl to do? It's hard cooking for one person.

Well here are a couple of ways to use up old, stale, or just too much leftover bread. Yes, you can eat old, stale bread. It will not kill you and it actually tastes good if you know what to do with it. Lucky for you I do!


I usually make croutons out of bread that I baked in a loaf pan. It doesn't really matter what shape the croutons end up being, but I find it works better if they are squares. Bread made in a loaf pan (see pic below) is easy to cut into uniform pieces. (If you buy one with a lid, the bread comes out in a loaf perfect for sliced bread!)

Anyway, croutons are super easy to make (I am using the thyme infused loaf). Just cut the bread into small pieces, arrange on a baking sheet. Toast in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Saute in a pan with some olive oil and whatever spices you like (garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, onion powder are all great) until coated. Put back in the oven for a few minutes and Voila! Homemade croutons. They keep well in a refrigerator for a few weeks. I love making these to put on my salads. Just a few croutons take care of my cravings for carbs.

Bread Crumbs
Same thing. Cut the bread into small chunks and toast in 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. They should be toasty all the way through (if not keep in for an extra few minutes). Take crispy croutons and put in Cuisinart or blender. Add in whatever spices you like (sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, onion powder are all great). And blend! That's it...just store them in a canister in the refrigerator up to a few weeks.

Fresh and dried thyme, onion powder, sea salt, pepper,
ground sage and marjoram

Aside from the usual uses (breaded fish, chicken, eggplant) I also like to use these on top of homemade mac-and-cheese. I will have to get that recipe from my mom and convert it to "healthier" ingredients before I can write about it. I see a cold weather comfort food post coming soon in lieu of the change of seasons.

Bread Pudding

This is a favorite desert of mine that my mother has made from as far back as I can remember. The great thing about this recipe is that you can literally save all of the ends of loaves of bread plus any stale bread in a bag in the freezer. Once you have enough bread to make the size casserole you want, you just take it out of the freezer, mix it together with the ingredients below, and you have an amazing and virtually free dessert (you would have normally thrown the ends or stale bread out right?).
  • 6 cups cubed bread
  • 1 cups agave nectar
  • 5 large farm eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups organic milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves
  • raisins, blueberries, cranberries, or figs (if desired)
Directions: If bread is frozen, let defrost completely. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together pudding ingredients. Pour over cubed bread and let sit for 20 minutes. Pour bread mixture into baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until set.

Toppings: If you want an extra sweet factor or if you are making this for a party or special occasion, there are a couple ways you could go about the topping. The first would be to mix and together brown sugar, soft organic butter, and crushed pecans to make a tasty cruble. Put topping on half way through baking time. The second could be just a scoop of organic ice cream (Stonyfield Organic Ice Creams). I actually prefer to not put any topping on because I am not a big sweets person, but to each his own.
The reason why I go to all the trouble (not that is all that difficult) to make extras like croutons and bread crumbs is because, if you look at the ingredients of these items that are sold in grocery stores, they include lots of garbage like: enriched flour, partially hydrogenated vegetable (soy) oil, corn syrup, shortening, whey, soy flour, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG), and preservatives. This is no exaggeration...I just got those ingredients off of a canister of Foodtown "Perfect Recipe" Bread Crumbs. There is nothing "perfect" about any of those food like substances that make up the Foodtown "perfect recipe" bread crumbs.

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