Four Delicious and Practical Uses for Day-Old French Bread
Day Old Bread - A Homemaker's Helper
We love to eat fresh, delicious french bread from the bakery each morning. Nothing is better than warm bread with a little butter and jam and some dark, strong coffee. What a way to start the day! Day old bread simply doesn't cut it, it gets hard and chewy, so it can be a sorry substitute.
Here are some options to give to life to the old loaf, because in fact, there are many amazing uses for day old bread!
In this hub, I will explain how to prepare the following standbys:
Biscotti - ideal for eating with warm milk before work. As a variation, they can be pressed in a plate of sugar before toasting as a sweet variation to "plain" biscotti.
Croutons for salads and soups - they help fill your tummy in winter soups and summer salads.
Homemade Breadcrumbs - start with biscotti, then roll them out as a flavor enhancer and sauce thickener. They are much tastier than the sawdust tasting store varieties!
French Toast - when the bread is fresh, it won't soak up the egg and milk. Old bread is ideal!
Biskotti for Breakfast
Usually, when the day old bread starts to stack up a bit, it's time to bake biscotti. It's easy. All you need is a knife, a cutting board and a cookie sheet.
For the sweetened version, slice the bread into finger size strips and press down firmly into a shallow bowl of granulated sugar. Place on a cooky sheet and bake at the oven's lowest setting for about an hour.
For "plain" biscotti I cube the bread into bite-sized pieces. Ideally they can crumble in your mouth, and even taste good when added to white coffee as an impromptu breakfast. Brownish looking biscotti is overcooked and not as tasty or enjoyable to eat!
The biscotti, once heated in the oven for a half hour or so, needs to cool down before packing into a container. Once thoroughly cooled it can even be stored in a sturdy plastic bag. (Those with thin plastic can be snagged by the biscotti's rough edges.)
Early mornings, when we don't have time to buy bread before work, the biscotti really comes in handy. Pop a few cubes in a warm glass of milk and eat with a long spoon. It is really delicious, the oven brings out the golden deliciousness of the once-fresh bread. I prefer it over hot cereal!
Bread is Life
Seasoned or Unseasoned Croutons
Unleash the Gourmet inside of you and do a little experimenting with them.
Instead of baking your biskotti "in the raw", you can spice them up a bit and make them into croutons. Croutons have fallen out of favor with me lately, but they still make a great additions to salads and soups. Try them on Tomato Soup - a recipe link is included.
Biscotti cubes are a bit larger - croutons should be cubed as to look like "baby biskotti". Once you have a good amount of them (like a salad bowl full), pour two or three teaspoons of a vegetable base seasoning, like Mrs. Dash or Vegeta. Mix thoroughly. Now add a couple Tablespoons of olive oil. It should be a lightly seasoned, lightly oiled batch. Soggy is no good, so better to put a little then add more if needed.
Bake in the oven for a half hour or so. When you start smelling something wonderful, they are probably done!
Tomato Soup - Mm MM Good :)
Serving Suggestion for Croutons
- How to Make Delicious Homemade Tomato Soup of Fresh Veggies
The soup commercials say Yum-Yum Good. This homemade tomato soup recipe is easy and delicious. Basically, clean out the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. It is vegan-friendly too and especially good with seasoned homemade croutons. Try it!
Homemade breadcrumbs, as long as they are not burnt, are 100x better than the store-bought variety. For whatever the reason, they absorb liquid much more efficiently. The store-bought ones I've bought in the past just sit there like sawdust. By comparison, the home baked ones tend to be "rougher" and "more porous".
All you do is take a fistful of biscotti and roll them out with a rolling pin. They should be the same consistency throughout. I sometimes place them in a sturdy plastic bag, then roll them straight through the bag after arranging them for evenness. It helps to get the biscotti into smaller pieces.
Uses for breadcrumbs
The list goes on and on, but here are a few for starters...
- To thicken spaghetti sauce.
- To absorb extra fruit juices in an apple or cherry strudel.
- To fill up artichokes (see my hub, below):
Artichokes in Sauce
- Stuffed Artichokes with Fresh Green Peas, a Healthy ...
How to cook an artichoke and artichoke hearts. Stuffed artichokes are simmered to completion, adding baby peas at the end of the cooking cycle to round out this delicacy. Crushed bread crumbs add flavor and thicken up the sauce a bit!
A Great Vegetarian Lunch
Fried Egg Bread, or French Toast, is a quick and happy meal to prepare for a last minute dinner treat. All you need is a loaf of day old french bread in one-inch thick slices, approximately 6-8 eggs, a cup of milk, 3 T. sugar, two shakes of ground cinnamon, 2 tsp. vanilla flavoring. Mix in a shallow bowl so it will be easier to dip the bread.
I fry the bread in butter or margarine, oil just doesn't belong here, unless you happen to be out of the other two. Careful that the butter doesn't burn, just let it melt gently. Once the skillet is warm (test with a drop of water, it should react but not explode), put the bread slices in. They should not be dripping but definitely soaked through. Push them down with a spatula to help them cook faster and all the way through on medium heat. Flip over and add a little more butter. This is not a low calorie recipe, but one you won't be eating everyday, so enjoy.
Once they are done, cut in half and dust with powdered sugar. Then can be served with bacon on the side. Deee-lish!