Ten tips for using your loaf
In the UK we throw away 24 million slices of bread EVERY DAY. It’s time we learned to use our loaf.
We’ve pulled together some top tips and delicious recipes so that you’ll never have to waste another slice!
- Just buy what you need - bread is cheap and we don’t like to run out because it’s so handy and quick to make a light meal or snack. It’s very easy to over buy. Get into the habit of checking what bread you’ve got in - and thinking about how to use it.
- Proper storage - somewhere dark and cool and tie the bag tight so that air can’t get in.
- Revive stale bread - stick a slice in the microwave for 5-10 seconds max to revive it. If your baguette has gone soft, sprinkle with a little water and bake for 10 mins at 180 to revive that lovely, crisp crust.
- Toast it - plan a quick and easy lunch or tea, pile it up with buttery scrambled eggs or slice fresh tomatoes, layer over the toast and season with salt and pepper or why not spread with a little chutney then sprinkle with loads of grated cheese and grill.
- Croutons - stale bread makes gorgeous croutons for salads or soups. Sprinkle cheese on a large crouton, grill until golden then top your bowl of soup with it. See the panzanella recipe for a great way to use in a salad.
- Pizza - practically any slice of bread or a baguette will make a fab pizza base. Lightly toast then load with your favourite toppings, tomatoes, cheese, mushrooms, salami - grill or bake - delicious! If you have children, they’ll love making their own pizza slices.
- Cut the crust - lots of people don’t like crusts and this creates a lot of waste. Some crusts are quite thick so you could always just take the very end off with your bread knife and turn a crust into a slice. Lay your slice flat, crust up, and cut horizontally.
- Breadcrumbs - whizz stale bread in your food processor (if it’s still a little soft you can bake it for a few minutes in the oven to dry it out first). You can use them straight away or freeze them. If they come out of the freezer a little damp, just spread them on a baking tray and bake at 180 for 5 minutes.
- Use your freezer - if you’ve had your loaf a few days and you’re not going to use it, pop it in your freezer for an endless supply of toast.
- Look up bread-based recipes. Most involve bread that has gone stale. See our recipe suggestions below.
In the UK we throw away 24 million slices of bread EVERY DAY
A mixed punnet of different, small, heritage tomatoes makes the best panzanella.
Slice a whole punnet (not thin slices, you need chunks or cut a cherry tomato in half for example).
Thinly slice a whole red onion. Mix the tomatoes and onion together in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.
Leave at room temperature for an hour - the salt will draw the juice from the tomatoes. You could add sliced, mixed peppers for a more substantial salad.
Pour over a good glug of olive oil and a little white wine vinegar.
Add your stale bread croutons and mix so that they soak up the dressing.
To make this into a bigger meal you could add mozzarella cheese and basil, prawns, tuna or some salami.
Bread and butter pudding
8 slices of stale bread buttered and cut into triangles (brown or white, either is fine but white probably better).
If you like orange marmalade you could spread a thin layer of that on some slices for extra flavour and/or you can grate some orange zest over the buttered bread too.
Warm 30ml of full fat milk and 50ml of cream in a saucepan over a low heat.
In a separate bowl crack 2 eggs and whisk together with three tablespoons of caster sugar.
Pour the warm milk slowly over the egg mixture, whisking all the time.
Arrange the slices of bread in a dish, scatter dried fruit between the layers (mixed dried fruit or whatever you have in) 50-100g - I like a lot!
Pour over the custard and bake at 160 fan for 30-40 minutes until the custard is set.