Bread can often go stale before you get a chance to eat it all. If you see patches of mould growing on the surface it is a good sign that the bread is no-longer edible and should be thrown away or composted. If on the other hand it is just gone hard it is still perfectly edible and there are many things you can do with it. I have found in some houses the crusts of the bread are ignored as food and left to go off in the bread bag. To avoid wasting this it can be frozen and used at a later date as any of the following –
On of the easiest things you can make are croutons. Simply cut the bread into squares anywhere between 1-3cm big. Place the bread squares in a frying pan with a little oil, a clove of garlic (finely chopped) and fry on both sides until crispy. Serve on the top of soup.
Bread Crumb Topping
If you have a coffee grinder or pestle and mortar break up a slice of bread into a few pieces and grind it up for a few seconds (longer for the pestle and mortar). You can then use the breadcrumbs on top of gratins, savoury crumbles, in burger mixes and in stuffing mixes for both meat and vegetable dishes.
Bread pudding is a really simple way of using up all your stale bread. It was a firm favourite when Andy and I were growing up, my mother would serve it to us warmed up with a bit of cold milk or custard – delicious!
- 175g of Stale Bread – (About half a loaf)
- 175g of Apples – (one large eating apple)
- 125g Dates or Figs – (6 dates 4 figs)
- Tablespoon each of sesame and flaxseed (Optional)
- ¾ to 1 pint of Semi-Skimmed milk
- 1-heaped teaspoon of allspice
- 1 Tablespoon of honey
- Grind the bread up into small breadcrumbs using a food processor or a rolling pin and a plastic bag and place into a large mixing bowl
- Core the apple and add it to the bowl
- Cut the figs and dates into two and add them to the bowl
- Add the spice, honey and seeds (if using).
- Pour in the milk – this is tricky part, different breads have different absorbencies so keep mixing the milk in slowly until in resembles a cake mixture. You may not use all of the milk or you may use more than a pint just stop mixing before the mixture gets too sloppy.
- Cover with a tea-towel and leave for about an hour.
- Lightly grease a deep baking tray or cake tin and cook on gas mark 5, 160/170o C for about ½ an hour or until brown and solid.