Bread is a very versatile ingredient when it comes to making quick snacks. Whether you make a sandwich or some french toast, the freshest bread will give you the best taste. However, it can be quite difficult to store bread for long periods of time.
After the first or second day, the loaf tends to lose its soft and airy texture. It might even start molding if not taken care of properly. But what if we told you there’s a way you can preserve the freshness for a longer time? You’d think we’re crazy.
Today, we will be talking about what to do with leftover bread, so you can make something delicious with the extras.
Ways to Use Leftover Bread
After putting hours into research, we have picked out some of our favorite dishes to bring good use to your leftovers. Let’s check them out!
This is one of the easiest ways you can use your leftover bread on your food. Turning your bread into crumbs requires you to drain out all the moisture from it.
You can use your bread directly if it has gone hard, or place your bread into an oven for 30 mins. This will drain out any excess moisture that is left inside. Then, just crush it with your hand or place it in the processor.
If you’re in the mood for some fish fillet or salad, using the breadcrumbs would give an extra bit of crunchiness. Storing the breadcrumbs can be wise for those of you who make fried chicken. Natural breadcrumbs tend to stick better to the marinated chicken than the processed ones you find in the store.
Another great way to use leftover bread is to make bite-sized croutons. What’s more, you don’t have to take much trouble to make them either. It turns out to be more like a short term baking experience.
All you need to do is cut your bread into cubes. The size depends on your preference. Place the cubes into the oven and bake them for 30 minutes at 120 Degrees Celsius.
Additionally, you can drizzle the cubes with olive oil and spices for flavoring. Adding herbs would also enhance the flavor, especially if you’re using them for salads.
Store the croutons in an airtight container to keep them fresh for days. You can also make different kinds of croutons for every kind of soup. For example, the crouton with herbs would be a nice complement to your creamy mushroom soup. But one with spices would taste better with some french onion soup.
3. Bread Pudding
This is one of the most favored dishes you can make with leftover bread. The texture of the bread is softened by the mixture you put into the pudding due to its absorption qualities. This also adds flavor to the bread since the flavor seeps into the air spaces.
Leftover bread is actually perfect for this dish due to its stiffness. When made with fresh bread, the softness tends to act as a disadvantage. As a result, the bread shape will often turn to mush.
For public servings, this is a dish that will not disappoint (if made the right way). If you have banana bread leftovers, you can make a banana-flavored pudding instead. Try to mix and match the flavors to find your desired taste.
4. Bread Salad
Most commonly known as Panzanella, this bread salad is quite famous in Italy. You can pair your leftover bread with some fresh vegetables like tomatoes and olives. After this, you can bind it with some salad dressing. Add peppers and other spices according to your taste preferences.
We would advise you to cut your bread into small pieces as it allows you to get more of the veggies in each bite. Be sure to mix all the flavors well enough and then freeze till it’s cold.
Bread leftovers that are around a day old will start to get hard but don’t consider them to be fully useless. Sprinkle a bit of water and place them into the oven to bring them back to life.
Check on them after short intervals to see if they’ve reached the right texture for you. The more you heat them, the crunchier they get. Take out your favorite cheese spread or use plain old butter. These toasts will go great with either.
Or you can use the toast pieces on your favorite french onion soup recipe. The texture of the stale bread gives off a contrasting flavor as the bread is hard but also soft from the liquid soup.
6. Binding Agent
A lot of people don’t know this, but using the crumbs of your stale bread can add support to your burger patties. The texture of the crumbs helps to bring together all of your spices and minced meat. We can say the crumbs act as a binding agent for your ingredients.
In addition, Italians have used breadcrumbs in their meatball mixes as well! The binding property of the crumbs holds the circular shape of the meatball without splitting apart. So you don’t have to worry about your meatballs ruining your shirt or pants by breaking unexpectedly.
7. Bread Sauce
Whip out some bread sauce recipes on the internet and use all your stale dough to make it rich and creamy. Using a nice mix of onions and cream will really elevate the taste of your dishes, especially when you eat meat dishes.
Remember how we told you about making toast from stale bread? Well, this is quite similar but definitely packs much more flavor. Use any seasonal mix of toppings and make your favorite Bruschetta.
The easiest one of them all is the tomato bruschetta. And the toasted hard surface of your bread is perfect for light cube-sliced tomatoes. Add some flavoring and parsley to give you a wide burst of flavors.
9. French Toast
Using stale bread is ideal for french toast recipes as they absorb a lot of the milk and egg flavors. Much like the pudding, the hardness of the bread is canceled out the longer you keep it in your egg and milk mix. The softness of the bread is perfect, as it will maintain its shape and won’t break off easily.
If you’re someone with a tight schedule, you can effortlessly have this as a regular for breakfast. Milk and eggs are important in a classic french toast recipe, and they are great for your health too. Packing the right punch of nutrients, you will be fully charged for your day ahead.
You can even make the mix overnight and use it for baking the next morning. When storing the bread, you should wrap it with cling film and place it in the fridge.
10. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
There is no better recipe for a quick and tasty snack than a grilled cheese sandwich. Stale bread is perfect for giving you that light, crunchy flavor with your preferred cheese.
Apply butter to one side of each of the stale bread and place them inside the oven or put them on a pan on your stove. Right before they become toasty, add loads of cheese to make it as gooey as possible (that’s the only way you should have it).
This is great when you have people over, and you want to make them all a quick snack. When watching the game or the movies, you will always enjoy a cold drink and some grilled cheese.
As bread is an essential ingredient in most households, so, knowing what to do with leftover bread lets you save money.
Additionally, you can also experiment with various snack recipes and incorporate the use of stale bread to save you a trip to the store. All the dishes listed above are great ways to minimize waste, but it depends on your mood and preference.