Welcome to Friday Food Reviews where I will be covering a different food or product each week and looking at… what are they? where do they grow, what can we substitute them for in a recipe, are they safe to eat, how to store them, how to use them, cook them, anything connected to that food. or product..all the why’s and the wherefores…it will, of course, be mainly my own opinion or a known fact…good or bad…there may even be a tried and tested recipe…or three…
This week it’s…Stale Bread!
Fact: Bread is top of the list when it comes to food waste…in the UK almost 900,000 tonnes of bread is thrown away every year…that is 24 million slices every single day…
In the US (2016) 20% of bread is wasted in kitchens plus 12% in stores that is a lot of bread…
In my house, that figure is 0%...ZERO WASTE…nil..none…ever…every single scrap of bread is used…
I either make breadcrumbs, cut them into cubes for croutons or freeze the slices whole…
Breadcrumbs…can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge if using within a few days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- As a topping for au gratin, macaroni cheese anything which has a cheese topping I just mix breadcrumbs with the cheese it makes the cheese go further and creates a cheesy and crispy topping.
- If I am making stuffing for fish or meat then I add some breadcrumbs…
- Treacle Tart needs no introduction…does it?
An old family favourite…
- 225 gm Plain Flour.
- 115 gm butter.
- 55 gm Sugar.
- 1 egg yolk.
- Chilled water to mix.
- 450 gm Golden Syrup.
- 85 gm Breadcrumbs.
- Pinch ground ginger( optional)
- Zest of 1 lemon plus 2 tbsp juice.
Sift flour into a bowl and rub in the butter to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar. Add egg yolk and chilled water a tbsp at a time until the mixture comes together to form a ball. Wrap in cling film and chill 20/30 mins in the fridge.
Gently roll out pastry and line 9 inch tin or dish, lightly prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork, line with baking parchment and cooking beans. Put in preheated oven 180 degrees/gas 6 and bake 15 mins remove baking parchment and beans and bake for further 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Make the filling by gently warming syrup in a saucepan with fresh breadcrumbs, ginger, lemon zest and juice. When mixed together pour into the baked case. NB. The mixture should be fairly thick consistency but pourable …..if required add more breadcrumbs.
Put into oven at 190 degrees and bake for further 25 minutes.
Serve with cream or hot custard.
Croutons: can be stored the same way as breadcrumbs.
To cook either drizzle with olive oil and spread out on a baking tray and bake in a hot oven 180 degrees for about 10 mins turning a few times until golden on all sides or heat a few inches of oil and fry turning as they will brown quickly this way is quicker and only takes a few minutes…
Don’t forget you can flavour your croutons with garlic or other seasonings.
- Add to your soup when serving.
- Mix into a Caesar salad or any salad come to that they are far better than the ones you buy.
- Stirring croutons right into soft, creamy scrambled eggs eliminates the need for a side of toast.
- Lovely garlicky croutons are nice just as a little snack with some hummus or other dip or just eat them as a snack…
Slices of Bread: Have so many uses they can be torn up and used to make bread sauce which is a sauce which is served with chicken or turkey mainly at Christmas but my family love it so much that every time we have roast chook they ask for bread sauce it is easy to make and uses up stale bread…
Freeze the breadcrumbs ready to use( I always) keep a bag of frozen breadcrumbs in the freezer. The sauce can be made the day before and reheated on the day… I have been surprised living here that many people have not heard of bread sauce my mum always made it at Christmas we couldn’t have turkey without bread sauce…
About half loaf of Stale white bread either broken into smallish pieces or can blitz into breadcrumbs if you like a smoother sauce.
- I brown Onion peeled and studded with cloves.
- 2 bay leaves.
- Salt & Pepper.
- About half-pint milk.
Pour milk into a saucepan and add studded onion. Slowly bring to boil and turn down and let gently simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool remove Onion and bay leaves. This can be reheated to serve or made the day before and kept covered in the fridge. It is quite a thick consistency so if too thin add some more bread if too thick some more milk.
Bread pudding is a recipe which I learnt from my nan or bread and butter pudding which is different but still uses sale bread but the bread is soaked in egg and milk and then cooked.
For the Recipes please click the highlighted links above…
I always freeze the topper or trust of my bread and then use it to make garlic bread…Love French onion soup either have cheese croutons for a change or a slice of stale baguette add some grated cheese and viola a lovely bowl of French Onion Soup…top a casserole or stew with bread rounds and some cheese…
All you need to do for an individual bowl of soup or a larger dish is toast slices of your stale baguettes you can use individual oven-proof bowls or one large casserole dish. Ladle the soup into the bowls or casserole dish. Cover with the toast and sprinkle with cheese. Put into the broiler/grill for 10 minutes at 350° F, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned.
That’s it folks how to have zero waste bread…Just think if everyone did that then those scary wasteful figures when there are children starving yes starving we could reduce those figures…if you don’t have that much bread as there may only be one or two of you… buy day-old bread that is reduced in your store that’s less store waste…or bake your own that’s fewer chemicals and sugar in our food and we are all counting that aren’t we???
Still, got stale bread? Then take a walk.. go feed the ducks and fishes…
Until tomorrow (Saturday Snippetts) …thank you for joining me here today I look forward as always to your comments xx