We are always having a few leftover pieces with each loaf of sandwich bread (I don’t care for the crust ends), plus there are always extra hotdog buns since my children eat theirs cut up instead. Then we often have leftover corn bread or garlic bread from dinners. Occasionally, I do buy day old bread at the bakery or grocery store, and need ways to use it up quick. There always seems to be tons of bread around. What do you do to use up leftover bread?
1. Bread Crumbs
Take any variety of leftover bread and put it through a food processor to make bread crumbs. Then, spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in a 200 degree oven for about 30 min checking on them every 7 min or so so they don’t burn.
Cube up your leftover bread and toss with a little olive oil, salt & pepper (or dried herbs & spices of your choice). Spread them out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 30 min. Check them about every 7 min and give them a toss so they brown evenly.
Crostini is made from thinly sliced toasted baguette, but you can also use leftover sandwich rolls, French bread, whatever. Top your crostini with bruschetta, tapenade, roasted red peppers and ricotta, you name it. The possibilities are endless!
4. French Toast
French Toast can be made with any bread, but leftover Challah, Brioche, Cinnamon Raisin Bread, and Cinnamon Swirl Bread are a few of my favorites. Once you have made up a batch of French Toast, the individual slices freeze well for a quick breakfast any day of the week. Alton Brown has my favorite French Toast recipe.
5. Bread Pudding
Like French toast, this can be made with any bread that you have available, but don’t limit yourself to just bread! Try changing up your bread pudding by using leftover croissants or even stale plain doughnuts!
I save my leftover bread through out the year in a 2 gallon freezer bag designated just for making stuffing. This is where we put the crust ends of the loaves of bread, the leftover hamburger or hotdog bun that was not needed, leftover bread from restaurants, you name it. Then, when it is time to make stuffing, I pull out the amount of bread I need and cube it up! I never have to buy a loaf of bread specifically for making stuffing and I’m not throwing out the leftovers through out the year.
8. Breakfast Casseroles & Stratas
There are so many breakfast casseroles and strata recipes out there that use leftover bread in them. Here is a link to some of my favorites.
9. Use as a base when making a meatloaf.
Put a few slices of bread under your meatloaf before you cook it. It will absorb the excess grease, and make cleanup a little bit faster since you won’t have the burnt on bits in your baking dish.
Panzanella is a salad that uses cubes of day old bread or croutons, tossed with fresh vegetables and herbs. There are tons of recipes available on Food Network that cover all different Mediterranean flavor profiles.