I love bread, especially artisanal bread. And they can be quite costly ranging $3-$5 each! So, when I have leftovers, which doesn’t happen often (because I like my bread toasted so it taste fresh and crunchy even after 4 days), it will break my heart to throw it in the trash (it’ll break my grandma’s heart too and she we roll in her grave, but more about her some other time).
So here are few ideas for using your __X__-days old bread. If you are not going to do any of them right away, cube your bread, without the crust, and freeze it in a Ziploc bag. Write the date on the bag. Keep frozen until needed.
1. Home-made fresh breadcrumbs
Thaw the bread a bit, if it is frozen. Process it in the food processor until you get fine crumbs.
Use this for breaded food like pan-fried breaded chicken breasts, or pork schnitzel, or to make a crunchy top for baked savory dishes like quiches, Mac and cheese, casseroles.
Even better, if you have leftover herbs like parsley, cilantro, oregano, thyme, add those to the bread and process all together. What the heck, while you’re at it, throw in a garlic clove or two, and season with salt and black pepper to make your own home-made seasoned breadcrumbs to be used in other home-made yummy dishes.
2. Sweet bread pudding
A few years ago, while on a trip to Oregon’s beautiful sea side, we went to an English pub where we ate bread pudding for the first time (I wish I’d remembered its name).
The concept was new to me. I was somewhat shocked by the idea of “bread pudding????” But oh my my, it was oh so good, warm and sweet and soft, and fluffy, and I think it had a splash of alcohol in it. Heavenly.
Here is my favorite recipe for bread pudding from Epicurious Magazine which everyone who ate it in my home just loved. Give it a try.
And, if want to be able to say “I’m in heaven” while living on this planet, I encourage you to make the rum sauce as well.
This is the easiest recipe on earth to make. To make a smaller pudding with less servings, you can reduce all the ingredients by half and the baking time to 45-50 minutes. Use an 8 * 8-inch, or 9 * 9-inch pan.
8 large eggs
3 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1-pound loaf cinnamon challah or cinnamon-swirl bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (or white plain bread – N.)
1 cup golden raisins
Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk eggs in large bowl to blend. Add milk, sugar, cream, and vanilla; whisk to blend well. Stir in bread and raisins. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pudding uncovered until puffed and golden, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Cool slightly (pudding will fall). Serve warm with Spiced Rum Sauce.
Spiced rum sauce
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons spiced rum or dark rum
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Stir brown sugar and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes. Add cream, rum, and cinnamon and bring to simmer. Simmer until sauce thickens and is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 5 minutes. Serve warm. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before serving.)
3. Savory bread pudding with cheese
If your leftover bread is a savory one, make a savory bread pudding. Makes sense, right?! It is a good opportunity to use your leftover cheese as well.
This is a wonderful and sophisticated side dish to serve with steak, lamb chops, roast, pork, chicken, etc.
It is based on the sweet bread pudding recipe, but I have changed it a bit. Well, more than a bit, so I call it my own.
Nurit’s savory bread pudding with cheese
Makes 6-9 servings.
4 large eggs2 ½ cups whole or 2% milk
1 – ½* loaf bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (*depending on the size of your bread)
1 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
About 1 – 1 ½ cups cheese, crumbled/grated (like Brouson, Parmesan, Feta, Goat, Gruyere, Ricotta, Gouda… whatever you have in the fridge)
Butter 9x9x2-inch glass baking dish.
Whisk eggs in large bowl. Add milk, salt, pepper, and cheeses. Whisk to blend well. Add the bread and mix well.
Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours. (But if you need to make it NOW, like I did, just make sure all the bread cubes have soaked the liquid).
Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake pudding uncovered until puffed and golden, about 45-60 minutes. Cool slightly (pudding will fall).
I’m sure you’ll love these.
I think my grandma will be pleased.
Check out this post: Leftovers: Roasted Chicken