Gastronomy  Waste not: 10 creative ways to cook with stale bread
26/07/201700:00 TV5MONDE
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Ahh, la baguette. Often synonymous with France itself, no journey to the romantic country itself is complete without indulging in a baguette. Of course, there are many other types of bread that one may enjoy in France. From sourdough, rye, honey bread, 5-grained and a number of varieties, bread is a staple in all French households. The trouble is often that our eyes are far bigger than our stomachs. One of the problems which pain any bread lover is day-old bread. It was too much to eat in a day’s time, but too much of a waste to be simply thrown away. Fear not - we waste not! There are many ways in which you can save your day-old stale bread. Here are our 10 suggestions on how you can cook with stale bread for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner!
 
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1. Breadcrumbs
Why spend money on store-bought breadcrumbs when you can make them at home? Simply chop up the leftover bread and grind them up with seasoning of your choice in a food processor. If you do not have a food processor, a mortar and pestle will also do the job. Keep them untested and stored in the fridge if you do not intend it use it all right away. Use them to bread cutlets, fish, or sprinkle over your dish.
 
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2. Croutons
No salad is complete without a crouton (for us at least). Simply cut up the stale bread into small squares. Toast them in the oven with olive oil, a pinch of salt, garlic or other seasoning. Use a frying pan instead if you do not have an oven.
 
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3. The topped cracker
Otherwise known as crostini or bruschetta in dining terms, this is one of the most common appetisers which offer tons of room for creative recipes. Toast the bread pieces and sprinkle generous amounts of olive oil, herbs and seasoning. Eat the toasted cracker (a crostino in the singular form Italian) as is, or top it with cheese, vegetables, slices of ham, salad, or any other topping which you may fancy. These are great to go with your afternoon aperitif!
 
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4. Pain perdu
Literally meaning “lost bread”, the French Toast has made its way across the world with its delightfully soft texture and sweet taste. Making French Toast is easy and ensures that no piece of your bread goes to waste. There are numerous recipes out on the internet, but most will involve the use of milk, vanilla and eggs. Simply let the bread slice soak in the mixture and cook it on stove until it turns golden brown. Let it serve as is, or with toppings such as ice cream, syrup and fruits.

5. Meatballs
Yup, you heard it right! A meatball recipe is only half as good if you did not put bread into the mix. Soak up pieces of stale bread in milk, soften it and add it to the ground meat. It gives the meat ball that extra “oomph”!
 
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6. French Onion Soup
Another classic French dish which uses a generous portion of day-old bread, this is a soup usually made from meat stock, onions, butter, a dash of sherry, herbs and cheese. Serve it gratified with a large slice of stale bread - the yummy soup will soften the texture and the bread will soak up all the flavours, making it a great evening snack or light supper.
 
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7. Add it to all kinds of soups
Generally, soups made with meat stock or vegetable stock work particularly well when pieces of stale bread is added to it. It gives it extra texture and thickens the soup, making it a great choice for supper.

8. Make a strata
The savoury version to a bread pudding, this is a dish placed in a casserole which involves layers of stale bread, fillings and cheese. Think of it as layers of pizza - baked and seasoned to perfection!

9. Bedding for your meat dishes
Need we say more? Pile up the bottom of your baked dish with stale bread if you are planning to roast a chicken. It’s a great substitute for potatoes and soaks up the juice and all the flavours!

 
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10. Bread pudding
A tasty dessert which is popular in many countries, a typical recipe for this dish usually involves milk, butter, raisins or nuts, eggs, cinnamon and vanilla. It’s a great dish for the whole family.

We hope our tips here have inspired you to get creative in the kitchen. If you have any more recipes or ideas to use with bread, feel free to share with us! Don’t forget to keep an eye out to our Facebook page to learn about different types of French bread and cheese, shared on our page every Sunday afternoon.

BON APPÉTIT!
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