I try to see each flop as one more chance to learn something about bread baking. If ever I felt I was qualified to write about bread baking - it is when I consider the vast number of chances I had to learn "what not to do".
But no matter how bad the flop, don't throw it out and waste the ingredients. There is usually a way to salvage a loaf. Unless it is burnt to ashes or turned green with mold - then it is chicken food in my opinion!
Here is five ideas for those flopped, stale or dry breads or even the crusts of a good loaf if your family doesn't prefer the heel. I usually keep a bag (or two or three) of old bread in the freezer, adding to it until I get a big pile. Then I clean out the freezer of all the old bread and make something (or two or three somethings) with the stash.
- Bread crumbs. Doesn't get any simpler than this. Place some dry bread in the blender and turn into crumbs. I keep a container of bread crumbs in the freezer to use in meatloaf, to bread chicken or as a topping for casseroles.
- French Toast. French toast is an excellent way to use stale bread, especially egg rich breads like challah. Slightly stale bread actually works better for french toast because it doesn't disintegrate when dipped in egg and milk.
- Croutons. Another great use for crusts and stale bread. Readers shared some of their favorite croutons recipes here. I'll make a big batch of and keep in the freezer for salads.
- Filling. My husband loves turkey and filling and we don't reserve it for only Thanksgiving, in fact we are having it tonight! I keep cooked chicken or turkey in the freezer to make this a quick meal. Filling (or stuffing or dressing depending on your area) can be made with any kind of bread. Mine is often a mixture of cornbread, biscuits, rolls - you may even find a waffle. With all my sourdough experiments (and failures) in the past year, my sweet husband now says that sourdough bread makes the best filling! My mom's wonderful filling recipe is here.
- Bread Pudding. Nothing like bread pudding to make me feel like a visit to Grandma's house. Funny, I don't even remember eating bread pudding at Grandma's but it just seems like something she would make. It is another good way of using up old bread but I found out that it is best NOT to use sourdough in bread pudding.