Jul 22, 2010

Small Savings: Unloved Bread Ends (Janssen)

I don't know about you, but I often get down to the last slice or two of bread and it's looking a little stale, or too thin, or it's the end piece and I don't really want to use it. I'd rather just move on to a new, whole loaf.

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:

  1. 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!).
  2. 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?


Packrat said...

I've dried out the leftover slides and made dried bread crumbs or cubed the bread and dried the cubes, but never thought about freezing moist ones. Thanks for the idea.

Way back when I used to actually cook, I'd keep homemade bread stuffing mixes on the pantry shelf. (Store in good Tupperware or a clean, dry canning jar.) Sooo much cheaper than buying a box.

The end pieces are good for making French toast. If that doesn't happen, I break them up and give them to the dogs.

Sheyenne said...

I save all the bread ends in a bread bag in the freezer until I have enough to make bread pudding. I used this recipe. There are a ton of variations on bread pudding though. I love it warm topped with whipped cream. Give it a try!http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Butterscotch-Bread-Pudding/Detail.aspx.

Sarah said...

We just go to the duck pond...a fun and "free" activity.

Lisa Thomas said...

A dear frugal friend once taught me to turn the sandwich "inside out" when making one with the end pieces of a loaf. The peanut butter doesn't care that it's being spread on the dark loaf end side, and the child just sees "regular" pieces of bread on the outside of the sandwich!