Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Leftover Bread

Tuesday is tip day!  Here is my kitchen tip for the week.  If your family is like our family, somehow the bread box tends to have odds and ends of loaves of bread and leftover rolls.  These may have started to get stale.  What to do with all these leftover heels?  Toss them in the trash?  Feed the birds?  Yell at the kids for leaving the bread bag open again?  (Do you think money grows on trees, for pete's sake?)

Fear not, there are frugal ways around this stale situation!  Tip number #1 is to have a leftover bread bag in your freezer.  Collect those odds and ends and toss them in a bread bag or big freezer bag.  Phew!  That was hard!

These frozen odds and ends can be saved for about three months in the freezer.  What to do with these bits and pieces, though?  Well, I have found that frozen bread makes great breadcrumbs.  Next time you are making meatballs or any other recipe requiring bread crumbs, take a couple of slices of bread out of the freezer.  Grab a medium sized bowl and a grater, and grate the frozen bread.  It makes really great quality bread crumbs. 

If you need to make stuffing for a turkey or chicken, the frozen bread comes in handy as well.  Just toss the bread in a large bowl and let it thaw.  Then tear it up into the appropriate sized pieces and use in your regular bread stuffing recipe. 

Last but not least, is the good old-fashioned bread pudding!  Here's my recipe from a book called "Traditional Recipes of Atlantic Canada":

Preparation time:  20 minutes
Cooking Time:  1 hour
4-6 servings

2 cups bread with crusts, cubed
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup raisins (more if desired)
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Butterscotch Sauce:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon vinegar

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased casserole.
  • Stand casserole in pan of water (to ensure more even cooking).  Bake at 375 degrees F for 1 hour or until top is lightly golden and cuastard is set.
  • Serve topped with butterscotch sauce.
Butterscotch Sauce:
  • Mix together sugar and cornstarch.  Gradually add cold water.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.  Simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add butter, vanilla and vinegar and mix.


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