Monday, 25 August 2014

Things to do with Left Over Bread (Besides Feeding it to the Chickens) Part 2

This little bakery, not far from our house, sells the best bread in the area.

This is Part 2 of a mini series on using up leftover bread. Since starting this, I have thought of many more recipes, but I left my laptop charger/cable in France, so will publish this immediately!
In France we often have lots of left over bread because real French bread has no additives. I am loath to throw it away, but it can be past its best by the evening of the day we bought it.  You can keep sliced bread in the freezer and it will make passable toast, but pain, baguettes, boules, etc do not freeze well, so I am making a collection of recipes which will use up the left over bread lurking in the kitchen. It salves my conscience as I have heard too many stories about rationing (in England) and the Depression (in the USA) to throw it away lightly. 

Sliced Bread

French Toast
This is an all-time favourite from my childhood.  I still love to make it for a leisurely breakfast.
Use sliced bread with crusts removed. (You can use the crusts for breadcrumbs.)
Beat an egg and about  ¼ cup of milk per person in a shallow bowl.
Dip the bread in the egg mixture and allow it to soak up some of the mixture before turning it over and allowing the other side to soak up the rest. It needs to be soggy.
Heat one Tablespoon vegetable oil and one knob of butter in a frying pan.
Fry the bread until golden on each side.
Put on a plate and sprinkle with icing sugar.
Serve with maple syrup or jam or fresh fruit.
(N.B. For posh French toast, use brioche.)

Croutons or Fried Bread
Heat enough olive oil in a pan to cover the base.
Meanwhile, slice the bread or remove the crusts and cut it into small cubes.
Fry carefully in the oil until golden. Bread burns easily, so keep an eye on it. Use it to make salads more interesting or serve it with a topping of goats cheese with walnuts and balsamic dressing. I use it as an excuse to make Caesar Salad.


French Bread Pizza
On holiday with our young children, we used to make these out of baguettes. Everyone loved them because they could have the toppings they liked and they were quick and easy to make. Served with a salad they make a nutritious meal.
Heat the oven or the grill.
Slice the baguettes lengthways and then in manageable lengths, i.e. 4 – 6 inches.
Spread the cut side of each one with tomato puree and then add the toppings you like.  These might include salami, ham, mushrooms. fresh tomatoes, olives, etc.
Top with grated cheese (in France we use grated Emmenthal).
Grill or bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling.  Watch them disappear.

Garlic Bread
Slice baguettes in half lengthways and smear the cut sides with butter and garlic seasoning.  Alternatively, you can make garlic butter by using softened butter and crushed garlic. (This version is more authentic.) Put the buttered sides together and wrap in foil.  Bake about 10 minutes until the bread is warm and the butter is oozing. N.B. For a healthier version, use olive oil, garlic  and add a little chopped parsley to give flavor.

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