By Emma Chow

So we’re sick of bread and butter pudding. We  don’t even really like the stuff. But leftover bread should never be thrown out. Think of all the love and work that went into that loaf. Here are 11 ways to use up your old bread.

  1. Bread crumbs – pulse leftover bread in a food processor or blender until finely group. Keep it in a resealable bag in the freezer.
  2. Croutons – cut leftover bread into rough cubes, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Toast in a hot pan or in the oven until golden and crisp.
  3. Cinnamon toast fingers – slice leftover bread into fingers and toss with a little melted butter, a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Bake until crisp.
  4. Strata – this dish is like a Frittata with a delicious crispy bread crust on top. Find our recipe amongst our 5 Easy Egg Dinners here.
  5. 3 Cheese and leftover bread fritters (member recipe)– these crisp on the outside, soft on the inside fritters are quick and easy to make, but very delicious. They’re also really filling and make a nice cold school lunch.
  6. Stuffing – Old fashioned American stuffing is actually a side dish best not put into the bird; the internal temperature of a roasting bird does not reach sufficiently high temperatures to kill bacteria when filled with stuffing, which will be contaminated by said bacteria. Instead cube your bread and combine it with oil, herbs, nuts, vegetables and fruit and bake it in its own dish in the oven to be served next to the roasted bird.
  7. French toast muffins – for 6 cups of cubed old bread, combine 3 eggs, ¼ cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 300mls of milk. Fill muffin pans with the cubed bread and then pour over the egg mixture equally. Allow to soak for an hour. Combine 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ cup of oats, and a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon like you would for a crumble topping. Top the muffin mixture with this and bake them at 175 degrees for 20 minutes.
  8. Tomato bread soup – known as Pappa al Pomodoro, this simple but delicious tomato soup is thick, rich and warming. Dice an onion and 3 garlic cloves and saute in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent. Add 1 cup of white wine and simmer until the liquid has reduced to about half. Add 1.5 litres of tomato puree, 10 finely shredded basil leaves, and 2 cups of cubed crust-less bread.  Cook until the bread has softened and thickened the soup, for about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with grated parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
  9. Bread sauce – old fashioned bread sauce is little more than an onion cut in half and stuck with 4 cloves, a bay leaf, ¼ teaspoon of ground nutmeg, salt and pepper infused in 700mls of just boiled milk for 2 hours. Remove the onion and spices and take 110g grams of old bread made into rough breadcrumbs (about 1 white loaf)and soak it in the milk. Add 50g of butter and place the pot on low heat, stirring frequently for about 15 minutes. Replace the onion and spices in the pot until you are ready to serve the sauce, preferably with a beautifully roasted chicken. When it’s time to serve, remove the onion and spices again, stir through 2 tablespoons of cream and season with more salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
  10. Meatball extender – many meatball makers swear by the addition of some bread soaked in milk to make soft and tender meatballs.
  11. Eggs baked in bread cases – butter both sides of old bread slices and press them into muffin tins like a pastry case. Crack in an egg and some other fillings, chuck in the oven for 20 minutes and you have a quick and easy breakfast or lunch.

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