Week 9 - 7 Ways to not waste bread
Did you know that in the UK alone 24 million slices of bread are thrown away EVERY day? That is an obscene amount of waste that landfill cannot keep taking. Now I know we all fall victim to that odd slice of bread that gets left in the bread bin and gathers an interesting population of mould but overall I am not talking about that. I am talking about the millions of slices of slightly stale and/or dry bread that are chucked away when, with a little imagination they could be used to create tasty meals. There are also some simple things you can do to reduce how much stale bread you end up with. Read on for my 7 tips.
1. CroutonsDry bread actually makes better croutons than fresh so simply cut the bread into cubes (no need to remove the crusts) and fry them in really hot oil until crispy. You can store excess uncooked croutons in the freezer and cook them from frozen.
2. Make BreadcrumbsLike croutons these are best made from stale or dry bread and can be used in all sorts of recipes. They also freeze very well.
3. Investigate what puddings use stale breadThere are loads including bread pudding, treacle tart, brown bread ice cream, apple charlotte, summer pudding, bread and butter pudding and so the list goes on.
4. Investigate what savoury dishes use stale breadIn the same way that lots of puddings use stale bread so do a huge range of savoury dishes including stuffings, meatballs, savoury bread puddings, vegetarian sausages, eggy bread etc. Why not try this for some dry baguette or crusty bread - place it is a bowl and cover in a hot stew or soup . It may sound odd but don't knock it until you have tried it - it is unbelievably delicious and filling too.
5. Learn how to keep your bread fresh for longerStoring bread in the fridge is totally not necessary and in fact will make it go dry quicker - store it in a bread bin somewhere cool and wrap it in a clean tea towel to extend its life.
6. Buy less or freeze half straight awayPart of the problem is we buy too much bread and it goes stale. Try to wean yourself off buying too much and if you regularly find you waste some of each loaf then freeze half of it as soon as you have brought it.
7. Refresh stale crusty breadIf you have some crusty bread that has gone a bit dry, sprinkle it with a little water and place it in a hot over for a few minutes to heat through. It will come out like freshly baked bread, just demanding to be covered it with salted butter. Similarly toasting slices of dry bread make delicious toast
Were you guilty of adding to those 24 million slices today? Hopefully this post has given you some ideas of how to reduce such a shamefully waste of something that is absolutely fine to eat. One final point. I know feeding the ducks bread is popular but actually this is bad for both the ducks and the local environment as I wrote recently. However there are plenty of alternative foods you can feed to ducks whilst you save your bread for your plate.