One of the things that we have plenty of in this household is bread. If I don’t have a course then I am either making bread for us to eat or I am experimenting with new techniques and new flavours. We often have three (or more) crusts of various loaves sitting on the bread board. Our chickens are good at eating the leftovers but sometimes even they go on strike. To be honest, I prefer it if we eat the leftovers rather than give them to the chickens. So, this is what I do with them. (A lot of the links below are to my other website The Ordinary Cook, where my passion for all things breads started).
Rip it into chunks and add it to the next loaf. This way of recycling the bread makes your next loaf taste even more delicious. I place the chunks of bread in the bowl that I am going to make the loaf in and add the water that I am going to use for the loaf and let it soak for about twenty minutes. Then make the loaf as normal, you may need a little extra water to make your dough softly sticky, as it should be. Hop on over to the Recycled Loaf recipe.
Bread sauce. Next to bread, this may be my favourite thing to eat. Having said that I don’t tend to eat it that often, usually at Christmas and then maybe a couple of times of year. However, each time I eat it I wonder why I don’t make it at least every week, if not every day. My recipe is here.
Panzanella salad. Rip your leftover loaf into chunks, slice a few really tasty tomatoes (this really should be made with the best tomatoes you can find and only when in season, if homegrown, then even better) into chunks and mix them with the bread, mush them together to release the juices of the tomatoes into the bread. Add salt, pepper, thinly sliced red onion, some fresh herbs ( basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, parsley, whatever you have to hand and like the taste of), a good slug of olive oil and really anything else that you want to add.
Bread pudding. This is stodgy, fruity and delicious. My recipe is here.
Savoury bread pudding aka Mozzarella and tomato strata. I tried this after reading about it on Nancy’s website and was converted. It is a wonderful way to use up stale bread.
Bread and butter pudding is always a favourite after Sunday dinner. There is something very comforting about the contrast between the oozy custardy bread underneath the crusty (almost burnt) sugary topping. My recipe is here.
One that I have always wanted to try but somehow never managed to get round to it is Brown Bread Ice Cream. I must get round to righting that wrong.
If all else fails, let the loaf dry out and then pulse in a food processor or cut up finely with a knife to make breadcrumbs. Place in a food bag and pop in the freezer for the next time a recipe calls for breadcrumbs.
Whatever you decide to use your ends of loaf for, please don’t put them in the bin. If you have any other recipes that makes good use of leftover bread let me know.