5 ideas to re-purpose leftover bread

Crumble can be made with stale bread. (Rawpixel pic)

With social distancing remaining the watchword in many countries around the world despite the cautious reopening of some businesses in some regions, many of us have developed newfound baking skills as we spend more time at home.

However, all the time spent in sourdough workshops and joyfully dusting off our diverse creations before popping them in a hot oven may well have left us with a surplus of bread, which can have already have gone stale.

But not to worry, there are plenty of interesting cooking ideas that can put leftover bakes to good use. Here are just a few of them.

Crumble

When it comes to adding a little texture to a dish of rhubarb or red berries, few things are better than a crumble topping. The recipe is easy: equal measures of flour, sugar, butter (straight from the fridge) and powdered almonds.

However, half of this final ingredient and half of the flour can be replaced with crumbs from stale bread that has been toasted in the oven. If the bread has reached the point where it is hard and dry, it won’t even need to be toasted.

Last but not least, don’t worry if the leftover bread is wholegrain or has inclusions like nuts or dried fruit, these will only make your crumble all the more tasty.

Breadcrumbs

Save money that might otherwise be spent on ready-made breadcrumbs by making your own. Just slice up your bread and dry it out in the oven at 100°C.

Then zap it in a food processor to obtain crumbs of the desired dimensions. This idea also works well with leftover breakfast cereal and old dry biscuits that you might have found hanging around in your kitchen.

Stuffed tomatoes

If you are in the habit of including breadcrumbs in stuffing for tomatoes, homemade ones are more than equal to the task.

And there is no need to worry about your mixture turning out too dry, just add a little of the juice from the scooped out tomatoes to obtain the right texture.

Puddings

One of the easiest solutions for old bread or brioche that has seen better days. Just soak it in milk, add eggs and sugar to transform it into a pudding base, which you can then personalise with the addition of raisins soaked in rum, chocolate, and pistachios.

The overall goal is to ensure that this dessert will melt in your mouth, so be sure that your bread has been properly soaked at the outset.

French toast

Of course, Sunday would not be Sunday if someone didn’t think of dipping slices of stale bread in a mixture of sugar and egg and frying them in a buttered pan before serving them up for breakfast.

Delicious when made with bread, “French toast” is even more extraordinary when brioche is the main ingredient.