Tired of plain old toast or regular sandwiches when it comes to using up your bread? If you’re running out of ideas and are bored of bread, it’s time to spice things up. In this article, we’ll look at some brand new ways to use your bread.
The Benefits of Eating Bread
Why is this simple baked product so important to humans around the world? People have even developed various methods of making bread! It comes in a wide variety of flavours and styles, from flatbreads to the more commonly known loaf of bread. It can be made from grains, or it may be made from other ingredients to ensure the bread is gluten-free.
Depending on the bread you choose, it can be quite nutritious, but the most important thing about it is that it fills you up. As a carbohydrate, bread fills the belly, gives you energy, and is excellent for topping with your favourite ingredients. That’s a pretty versatile ingredient. From savoury to sweet, bread can fill a lot of needs, but unfortunately, most people get stuck in a rut of toasting it or making regular sandwiches.
Let’s change that!
Make It Into Croutons
Do you have some bread on hand that has been sitting for a while? You can easily make your very own croutons for soups, salads, and garnishes.
Cut a loaf of bread into cubes and pile it into a large bowl. Heat the oven to 180ºC. You can then drizzle the bread cubes with 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil or melted butter and toss to coat. Add your seasonings (garlic salt, pepper, oregano and parsley work well!) and toss again. Spread on an oven tray and bake for 10 minutes or until crunchy. Then, all you need to do is serve and enjoy!
Create a Lovely Bread Pudding
Serve this tasty dish for breakfast or for dessert . . . it works for either. You’ll just need some bread, preferably stale, and some eggs, milk, and cinnamon, plus sugar to make this yummy food. It’s a handy way to use up leftover bread of any type and you can easily mix bread products. So, if you have a handful of sourdough, some regular sandwich bread and a loaf of brioche, you can mix them all into one pudding.
To make this, you’ll need:
500 ml milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
125 ml sugar
½ loaf of bread, cubed
2 eggs, beaten
Heat your oven to 175ºC. In a large bowl, toss the bread with the butter. In another bowl, mix the remaining ingredients and pour them over the bread. Toss until coated and place in a baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes or until properly set up.
Any time you have a little extra bread, cube it and freeze it for later use. Once you have enough for a pudding, thaw it at room temperature and make your pudding.
Prefer something savoury? A strata is just what you need! This is a wonderful mix of bread, cheese, milk, and eggs. For this, you’ll need:
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small bunch of kale, minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 loaf of bread, cubed
4 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1 oz. Parmesan cheese
375 ml milk
1 tablespoon mustard
Heat your oven to 175ºC. Melt the butter in a large pot and add the garlic. Cook until just soft and add the kale and salt, stirring until wilted.
Lay out the bread in an 8” oven dish and use half the kale mixture to cover this. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Top with the remaining bread, kale mixture and finish off with cheese.
In a bowl beat the eggs, mustard, milk, and pour this over the bread. This can be left overnight or baked immediately for 45 minutes or until set. This is a fun way to make up a dinner or enjoy a savoury breakfast. Feel free to mix up the ingredients and really make it your own.
Enjoy Some Soup
Bread has long been used to soak up a tasty broth, but have you ever considered making it a part of the soup itself? Surprisingly, this is a great way to use up some of that excess bread you have around.
A very simple way to add bread to soup is to toast it thoroughly. Blend in a food processor until it’s just breadcrumbs, and then add these to the soup as a thickener. Stir well and let sit for half an hour to thicken up the soup. It will immediately be more filling.
Bread soup or sopa de pan, as this is known in Mexico, is a tasty way to incorporate bread into your soup for a more filling dinner or lunch. You’ll need:
8 small rolls
1 tomato, sliced
½ onion, minced
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons butter
1-quart chicken broth
4 eggs, hardboiled and sliced
2 plantains, sliced, fried
To make this, just cut the bread into slices and fry it with the tomato, onion, peppercorns, and cloves in the melted butter. You can then place it in a heavy pot and add the chicken broth. Simmer for 10 minutes, then add a little salt and bring to a boil. Serve garnished with eggs and plantains.
Finally, you can use bread with cheese as a topper, such as with French onion soup. There’s no reason you can’t use it on any other soup, though. Just cut thick slabs of bread and brush with olive oil, then toast in the oven at 175ºC for 5 minutes, right under the broiler. Add cheese and let melt another minute, then drop the bread on top of the soup before serving. It adds a lovely accent and makes it look quite posh.
Make a Salad
Bread salad may sound odd, but it’s very much a thing that you can make. Of course, there are the usual croutons that you can toss on top of your regular salad, but what about a salad that actually uses the bread as one of its ingredients?
To make this salad, you’ll make a quick vinaigrette of 4 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar with a dash of salt and pepper. Cube your bread and toast under a broiler until crisp, then toss with the vinaigrette and 3 tomatoes that have been chopped up.
This salad works best if you let it sit for a few minutes before adding chunks of mozzarella cheese and some torn basil leaves. Toss well before serving.
We all know about using bread as stuffing in the turkey for Christmas, but what about stuffing other foods throughout the year? There’s nothing better than a seasoned pork chop wrapped around a buttered and herbed piece of bread that is rolled up on itself (use melted butter to make it soft). You can do the same with a flattened chicken breast, piece of beef, or anything else you like.
To spice things up a bit, try adding sliced cheese or ham to the bread and then laying it on the meat before rolling it all up and tying it with baker’s string.
Which Bread to Use
Bread really is the base for a large number of delicious meals. It’s one of those ingredients that just about everyone has on hand in their home all of the time. It’s a pantry staple! Choosing the right bread, however, is an essential part of the cooking process.
Regular white sandwich bread is fine for many dishes and sandwiches, but if you want to make something more exciting, look into using whole-grain breads, malted bread, or something unique. Herb breads incorporate the herbs right into the baking process, so they are really delicious and can be used in a variety of dishes. However, even different methods of making the bread will affect how they taste. Sourdough, for example, lends a tartness to the recipe that can really bring out other elements in a dish.
The actual form of the bread also matters. Baguettes can easily be turned into thick slices for soups and brioche or challa bread works very well for making croutons. If the bread is a little stale, it will have more chew and hold up better when being mixed with liquids. You can also toast the bread to give it a better texture before adding liquid ingredients.
Hopefully you’ve been inspired by these delicious ways to use bread in your meals. If you’re looking for high-quality bread to liven up your cooking, check out Freshways’ selection of baked goods today!