Fillet steak, blueberry muffins, cheesy chips, chocolate cake, sausages, roast chicken, profiteroles: just some of the things that may float into your mind whilst you are rooting through your kitchen. Sadly, the haze of these delicious ideas tends to evaporate as the reality of the bare cupboard hits home. More often than not the only hope left is a loaf of bread. Before you reach for the takeaway menu, have a look at what you can whip up for a meal, or what you can do with bread to spice up other dishes.
Pizza bread is one of my favourite ways of using leftover bread. Simply spread tomato ketchup and grate cheese onto bread, then grill until bubbling and golden — not quite Domino’s but the cheapest and quickest way to satisfy pizza cravings.
Bread and butter pudding is always a winner, and although there are many fancy recipes for it knocking around, it’s surprisingly easy to make. Pre-heat an oven to 180 °C and butter about eight to ten pieces of bread on both sides. Now arrange them in a baking dish. Next, mix two large eggs, 4 tablespoons of caster sugar, and half a pint of milk, then pour over the bread. If you’ve got it, add vanilla essence, raisins and sultanas to the mixture. Put the dish in the oven until the top is golden and crispy. For extra indulgence, sprinkle sugar over the top five minutes before it’s done cooking.
When bread has gone really stale you can make other dishes more interesting. Cut up the bread into cubes and bake them in a low-heated oven with salt and pepper. These croutons give salads and soups an extra crunch. Alternatively, blitz the bread in a food processor into breadcrumbs. These can be kept in the freezer and used to make a crispy topping for dishes like macaroni cheese and roasted vegetables.
The humble loaf has more to offer than you would have ever dreamed, so make its day and have a go at some of these!