What to do with that day-old loaf? Recipe ideas and a tip for reviving old bread

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to air out your picnic blankets and buy a bottle of white, some cheeses and a fresh loaf of bread.

The wine will all be drunk. The cheese gets better with age. But bread, good bread (the kind without preservatives) becomes less appealing. So what do you do with day-old bread?

Some of my favourite summer-time uses for day-old bread:

Breakfast

Pain perdu – Literally “lost bread,” French toast is a great way to reutilize yesterday bread, and a great way to feel conscientious while indulging in a delicious breakfast. I like mine topped with bacon, banana and maple syrup (yes, altogether).

Lunch

Panzanella salad – This simple Italian salad revitalizes the bread by infusing it with oil, vinegar and beautiful fresh tomatoes. The bread adds some substance to the salad but without being heavy. The tomatoes and basil should be super fresh.

Panzanella

Flickr / Foodnut

Aperitifs

Crostini – Rather than buying crackers (with all their superfluous packaging) to serve with your wine and cheese, slice your stale bread thinly and bake it into the perfect cheese delivery system.

Crostini

Flickr / Sifu Renka

Dinner

Breadcrumbs – As a last resort, grind your crusts up in the food processor to make your own breadcrumbs. These are fantastic mixed with some chopped green herbs or grated Parmesan to give some taste and texture to white fish or chicken.

Chicken Parmgiano

Flickr /

Seriouslygood1

Dessert

Bread & Butter pudding – Less well known on this side of the Atlantic, a good bread and butter pudding resembles a moist cake. It’s even better if you're using brioche or fruit breads.

Bread and Butter Pudding

Flickr / Su-Lin

 

Kitchen trick: Reviving day-old bread

The Lazarus: If you catch it early, you can resurrect your bread from the dead. Preheat your oven to 300º F. Wet the outside of your bread liberally (I do this by filling my hands with water and rubbing them over the bread). This stops the bread from drying out even more. Bake the bread for about five minutes. Make sure you eat the bread straight away or rigor mortis will set in.

How do you use every last crumb?