But throwing that bread away seems so wasteful, and I always imagine my dad cringing. Which means that I sometimes find myself with two or three almost empty bread bags in the back of my fridge.
Instead of throwing them away, I've found two ways to use them to avoid having to buy other products:
- I take the leftover slices of bread, toss them into the food processor and blend them until they are tiny little crumbs. I then dump the whole thing into a large ziplock back and stick it in the freezer. Whenever I have a recipe that calls for breadcrumbs, there they are, ready and waiting (and homemade!).
- I make my own croutons. I take a slice of bread (the end works just as well as a regular slice of bread) and cut it into strips and then squares (I'd say about 25 squares per slice - 5 rows by 5 rows). I dump it into a bowl, mix in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs (basil, oregano or an Italian Mix is my standard), then toss it on a baking sheet and cook them at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until they are toasty and brown. Stir them occasionally to keep from burning. These last quite well in the fridge, I've found, staying crunchy for about a week after I make them. Bonus, you save money by not having to go to the dentist to get your broken tooth fixed - am I the only one who fears for my teeth whenever I bite into a store-bought crouton?