365 ways to reuse bread

Filed in Blog by on September 7, 2012 10 Comments
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Mrs Green says “Use your loaf!”

No, not really 365 ways but my idea is that with a bit of planning and a few favourite recipes up your sleeve you need never waste bread again.

I’m guilty of wasting bread myself. I don’t know about you but I’ve noticed that supermarket bread tends to grow mouldy, whereas artisan or homemade bread tends to dry out and become stale.

Our bunny likes the odd stale crust to gnaw on; I’m not sure how good it is for her, but I trust her intuition when it comes to eating.

A couple of our zero waste week participants are focusing on bread.

Derek Neimann, nature writer and editor of RSPB youth magazines wrote “I pledge to reduce the amount of bread I put in the food waste bin. There must be lots more recipes with breadcrumbs in the world!”

Chris Young from The Real Bread Campaign says “I will…Only bake or buy delicious Real Bread that I will value too much to throw away. Only bake or buy as much Real Bread as I need, but freeze any extra I have Collect stale bread recipes so i know what to do with any that does get left”

Fortunately there are plenty of ideas for using up unloved bread. You’ve got your usual suspects such as making breadcrumbs, French onion soup, croutons or bread salads but here are some other ways to turn stale crusts into something decadent and delicious.

I shared my winning recipe for banana and chocolate bread and butter pudding earlier this week.

Molly from Orangette, shared her recipe for some amazing sounding cinnamon toasts  (scroll down quite a way)

Little Miss Green is always asking for dumplings and this recipe for bread dumplings (Semmelknoedel) looks just the ticket.

Emma, over in Italy runs a fantastic blog and has shared 10 favourite ways of using up old bread. You can even brush up on your Italian while you’re there as it’s written in both English and her mother tongue :)

So here’s my mini zero waste challenge to you. Check out your bread bin and see what’s going on in there – anything sweating, drying out or growing a green fur jacket? Choose a recipe to prevent bread waste and let me know what you’re going to do!

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (10)

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  1. Sue says:

    You are right about home made bread not going mouldy. I never buy bread and I rarely have more than a crust of my home made bread leftover. I put these leftover crusts in the freezer until I have a bagful. Sometimes I turn them into crumbs first to use for coating food or adding to dishes, sometimes I dice it first to use as croutons with soup.

    One of my favourite ways with breadcrumbs is the Spanish dish migas. This is like a hash made with torn bits of bread instead of leftover potatoes. I also add fried breadcrumbs to spaghetti with some crisp bits of bacon for an easy, cheap family meal. There are hundreds of British puddings which make use of leftover bread from treacle tart to bread pudding to summer pudding to bread and butter pudding. I have featured quite a few of these on my blog under the tag ‘leftover bread’,/a>

  2. CarSue says:

    I line a baking dish with bread that’s nearing end-of-life. Then I pour over it a mix of eggs, any veg that needs to be used up, cheese, and maybe a bit of soy sausage, then bake into “breakfast casserole,” or as my husband calls it, “Melted morning magic.” Even stale bread works well for this application, as the egg moistens it back up. Yum!

  3. Jane says:

    If bread goes a bit stale and dry, I save it for toast. I keep supermarket bread in the fridge and find that it does not go mouldy, although it may go a bit dry in the end.

  4. just Gai says:

    I ate a panzanella in a cafe the other day – an Italian bread salad made with ‘stale’ sourdough, tomatoes, red onions, olive oil etc. It was rather lovely. I recreated it, reasonably successfully, the next day.

  5. Janet says:

    I live alone and am trying to make bread most of the time. I tend to freeze bread, whether made or bought and then take it out of the freezer in small quantities, especially in summer when it tends to go mouldy quickly. I slice unsliced bread before freezing. I do of course have to remember to take it out of the freezer! However the bread and butter pudding and the “melted morning magic” both look really tasty.

  6. Gretel says:

    I soak the stale bread in water, wring it out, then add dried fruit, sugar and eggs to bake it as bread pudding. Did this with some left over French bread from a work do the other week and the results were much appreciated by my colleagues the next week

  7. all week has been a bread feast–first into the monday lunch soup, soaking up vege juices.
    then tuesday one thick slice slathered with a marmelade and tomato sauce mixture and warmed in oven to host a slice of leftover roast–onto wednesday, same old brick of a loaf transformed into 3 slices of faux focaccia..sprinkled olive oil, parmesan and italian herbs, roasted in oven–thursday still at it, butter and cinnamon sugar on slice, microwaved for breakfast ( a bit soft and not as tasteful)
    came friday, decided to soak the butt of the loaf in milk, sprinkled raw sugar, egg and lecithin granules, ginger and walnuts, baked 15 minutes as oven warmed the early chill…ate that in two small meals..

    bread can keep from egyptian tombs to royal tables…no matter the grain, as long as you allow it to dry..then it’ s croutons, casserole topping, salad spiffing, or soup stuffing, does a body good and stimulates the cook’s instincts.

  8. Marion says:

    @Gretel:

    I am hoping that your recipe is the same that my mum used to make. She called it, “Bread Pudding” . When I search for the recipe I am always given the “Bread and Butter” recipe instead. So please can I have your recipe?

  9. Lenny says:

    Here in spain we make “migas” of old bread :) It´s a very old dish: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migas

  10. My tip is to save the old bread, dry it out then ferment it with sourdough starter to make Russian Kvass!

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