Are you tired of throwing away stale buns, bread and bagels? We've got some creative ways to give day-old bread a second chance.
Making croutons is an easy and tasty way to use up almost any kind of bread.
- Cut the bread into cubes of desired size. Smaller croutons are great for popping into green salads, while larger croutons are perfect for adding to soup.
- Toss the cubes with olive oil or butter and whatever seasonings you want. Try garlic, onion or all-purpose seasoning salt, or leave the croutons plain to use in a stuffing another time.
- Lay the croutons on a baking sheet, and bake them at 200–250 degrees F until toasted.
Bread crumbs are a great addition to your pantry, as they can be used as topping for mac 'n' cheese, added to a meatloaf or used for breading chicken. And these are only a few things you can do with them! Here's how to make your own bread crumbs.
- Heat your oven to 200 degrees F.
- Lay out your bread slices on the racks, and bake until they are dried out. You can also use buns, cut into three slices.
- Break the bread into a food processor, and churn until the pieces have turned into crumbs.
- If desired, add seasonings, such as an Italian herb blend or dried sage, and then store the bread crumbs in an airtight container.
Pita or bagel chips
So what do you do with your stale pita bread or bagels? Why not turn them into a quick snack?
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cut the pitas into wedges or the bagels into circle-shaped pieces.
- Brush with olive oil or butter, then sprinkle with your choice of sea salt, garlic salt, freshly ground pepper, seasoning salt or another seasoning blend such as barbecue or Cajun spice.
- Bake until they're toasted, and then store them, eat them plain or with your favourite dip or spread.
- Try this with a leftover baguette to have crostini ready to use for almost any topping, including bruschetta, olive tapenade or white bean spread.
Other great uses
- Use as a topper for French onion soup.
- Make an Italian bread soup, or add chunks of stale bread to tomato or minestrone soup.
- Whip up a bread pudding. This is even better if you have a day-old fruit bread such as raisin or cranberry.
- Add chunks of Italian or artisan bread to an antipasto-inspired salad. Toss such ingredients as marinated vegetables, cubes of cheese, roasted red peppers, pieces of deli meat or roasted chicken and your leftover bread with a balsamic vinaigrette or an Italian salad dressing, add some grated Parmesan, and you have an easy meal.
- Day-old bread is perfect for making French toast, as it stands up better to the egg mixture and frying than fresh bread does.
- Make garlic toast out of stale bread or buns.
- Reinvent your day-old bagels as pizza bagels. Cut a bagel in half, spread on a layer of pizza sauce, add some pepperoni or salami, and top with a handful of grated mozzarella. Heat the bagel in the oven until the cheese is melted and the bagel is toasted, and you have a great pizza in only minutes!
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