We’ve all been there. You treat yourself to a large fluffy loaf of bread on the weekend, cut off a few slices for a bacon sarnie and then shove it back in the cupboard and forget about it. You rediscover it a few days later, and fluffy has taken on a new meaning, with your bread now covered in a bouncy layer of green mould. No more! Mob is here to show you the ways in which you can minimise your food waste to get the most out of that loaf of bread, and use it in banging meals for months to come. These are all brilliant ways to use up your stale bread.
Easy Recipes For Stale Bread
Crispy Breadcrumb Topping
A way to make most meals infinitely more delicious is to top them with crispy breadcrumbs. It's the perfect way to use up your leftover bread. All you need to do is heat a little olive oil in a frying pan, break up your stale bread into crumbs, chuck in a handful and fry for a couple of minutes until crisp - then sprinkle onto your pasta, soup, risotto or salad. You can flavour them up to match your meal. Here are a few of my faves:
- Black Olive Crispy Crumbs - finely chop your olives, then chuck into the pan with your olive oil, breadcrumbs and a pinch of salt until your breadcrumbs are crisping up. Leave to dehydrate a little on a baking sheet in the oven on 100°C for 30 mins until totally crisp.
- Rosemary and Garlic Crispy Crumbs - finely chop your rosemary and garlic. Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and add your rosemary, garlic and breadcrumbs. Fry for a couple of minutes over a medium heat until crisp and golden. A lovely vegan sprinkle to top your pasta with, this.
- Anchovy Crispy Crumbs - add a couple of anchovies to your frying pan along with a finely chopped clove of garlic and a splash of olive oil. Fry for a minute, breaking up the anchovies with your spoon, before adding your breadcrumbs, then fry over a medium heat until crunchy.
Deep Fried Food Coating
Deep fried food is my weakness. Luckily, with a bag of breadcrumbs in the freezer, a crispy morsel to snack on is never too far away. Strips of white fish, chicken, or balls of leftover risotto can be dipped in flour, egg and seasoned breadcrumbs respectively, then fried in hot oil until crisp and golden. You will thank yourself for blitzing up that end of bread when you bite into that crunchy exterior.
Make your meat go further (and your monthly budget) by bulking out your meatballs with breadcrumbs. Combined with chopped herbs and a little seasoning, these will be the plumpest, softest meatballs you’ve ever seen. Why not try MOB Kitchen's very own meatball recipe - so simple, so delicious. Rich meatballs on a bed of herby, steaming rice.
The base for lots of delicious sauces is, surprisingly, breadcrumbs. They bring a lovely, creamy softness and thickness to the party. Blitz up breadcrumbs with roasted red peppers, almonds, paprika and olive oil to make romesco, or simmer with milk infused with onion and bay to make a bread sauce to go with your roast chicken or turkey at Christmas.
Bread going a little bit stale screams croutons to me. Cut into cubes, toss with olive oil and salt and roast in the oven for 15 mins at 180°C, tossing occasionally so they go evenly crisp. Chuck in salads or on top of soup for a nice crunch. I’ve even been known to do this with leftover Neapolitan pizza crusts, which, let me tell you, works an absolute treat. We used them here to top our Ultimate Greek Salad.
Sweet Crusty Snacks
If you ever find yourself lumbered with a load of bread crusts, I urge you not to chuck them!! Toss them in a bowl with some melted butter, sugar and cinnamon, then bake in the oven for 15 mins at 180°C until crisp. Like a cheat’s cinnamon roll, you will be so glad that you didn’t feed your crusts to the ducks.