Stale bread

When I bake my own bread, most of it gets eaten so fast we hardly ever have stale bread.

However, with the loft conversion and all the time we spent DIY-ing, I ended up having to buy our daily bread. And believe it or not, we get a lot of stale bread these days!

As I try to minimise food waste – because honestly, how can anyone in good conscience waste food these days? – I had to come up with ways to use up our stale bread.

The easiest way for us to use up stale bread has always been to leave it out in the open and allow it to dry out completely. We’d then break it up in pieces and feed it to our little rabbit. BUT… one little rabbit can only eat so much bread. Stale bread is just a treat. She needs plenty of hay, some greens and one spoonful of pellets a day.

Next option: Toast our stale bread. That works. Sort of, but the hubby and our daughters prefer not to have their bread toasted, so it only gets us so far.

And so I was faced with a veritable hoard of stale (or even completely dried out) bread. I already had enough bread for the rabbit to last her for weeks if not months, and even I was getting fed up eating toast for breakfast.

That’s when I remembered dry bread makes excellent bread crumbs that will keep almost indefinitely. So I got out my coffee grinder and ground up all the dry-as-rock bread that was cluttering up my kitchen.

This left us with “only” six slices of stale – but not dry – bread.

I wanted to make a bread pudding, but seeing that I lacked some of the main ingredients (raisins and whisky), and it would really take quite a while to prepare it, I needed something simpler. Something fast. After all, even though I’d made those breadcrumbs and had already done a thousand things, I hadn’t even had breakfast yet.

French toast.

Now, believe it or not, but even though I consider myself a pretty competent home cook, I didn’t know how to make French toast. I’d given it a try once, decades ago, failed miserably and never tried again.

I hang my head in shame.

Thankfully, DD-19 was home, and she does know how to whip up a wicked French toast. So I asked her how the hell she managed to do that, and she told me.

Now I can make a pretty tasty French toast too.

The trick? If there is one, it’s using enough eggs, a lot of cinnamon and allowing the bread to get soaked through. Not hard at all.

I hope to be able to resume baking my own bread soon again, even though I still haven’t been able to bake that bread pudding yet. And that makes me wonder… how bad could it be to use a fresh loaf of bread for my bread pudding? Surely it couldn’t hurt, could it?

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About Liam

Poet, writer, aspiring minimalist
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2 Responses to Stale bread

  1. Leah says:

    Susan! Sorry I've been away for my blog forever, and never saw your comment till now.
    A savoury version of French toast? Well, that sounds interesting. I think I'll stick to the real version. Actually, I'm planning on having French toast again tomorrow. Got some stale bread in the fridge right now.
    I also store fresh bread in the freezer but my lot are picky eaters and won't eat the crusty slices, so they always get leftover – unless we have homemade bread.
    And I still haven't made bread pudding yet. Life's been so busy, what with the loft conversion and all. And still I hardly get any free time. I'm so done with all the hard work – but unfortunately the work isn't done yet…

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  2. Susan says:

    My husband likes French toast but he makes a SAVOURY version (yuk) and has it with salt on! I have suggested he try the REAL version (as per your daughter) but he thinks it is odd – no accounting for taste. As there are only 2 of us, a full loaf of bread is far too much for us so once we have eaten our fill of fresh bread I store the rest in the freezer, removing one or two slices as needed. If you allow them to thaw slowly between pieces of kitchen paper they are fine. And yes, you can make bread pudding with fresh bread. I think the original recipe was written back in the days when our grandmothers would not waste anything, hence the direction to use up stale bread. I had one of those bread makers once and found we were eating far too much bread for our own good – I soon sold that appliance! But bread fresh from the oven is so hard to resist…

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