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How can I stop wasting bread?

Food waste has been talked about for generations. Today, the main driver for this is due to excessive consumption and its effect on global resources. In times past, it was used due to prevent excess merchant vessels taking perilous journeys in times of war. You don’t have to get on a soapbox about it though – just be savvy about what to do with your excess food.

There are so many tasty ways that you can use your leftover bread, whether in its sliced form or to blitz it into breadcrumbs.

Using old sliced bread: 

Bread and butter pudding

A classic pudding. All you need to do is take the bread, slice it liberally with butter, layer it in a dish with some sugar sprinkled on, and pour on some custard (literally just milk, egg yolks and sugar). How you pimp it after that is up to you – add dried fruit, chunks of chocolate, or a splash of booze. This last one has possibilities all by itself – raid that booze cabinet and hunt those dusty half-forgotten bottles. Grand Marnier for an orange kick. Cherry brandy goes amazingly well with dark chocolate. You get the idea.

Croutons

WHY buy them from the shop? Take a stale crust, chop it into pieces and fry it in oil and garlic. Bung in some mixed herbs. Job done.

 

Breadcrumbs

Old bread that is too dry for a sandwich can be blitzed in the food processor. There are a million uses for breadcrumbs.

Bread sauce 

This takes a roast dinner up a gear. Fry some chopped onion in butter, add some breadcrumbs and milk, and that’s it. Grate in some nutmeg. Winner winner, roast chicken dinner.

Stuffing

Again, forget the packets of Paxo. Take some breadcrumbs and mix with hot water, mixed herbs, some chopped sage and onion. That’s it – roll into balls or stuff the bird with it. Whatever floats your boat.

Meatballs 

Classic meatball recipes use breadcrumbs to make the more expensive meat go further, but it has another function – to give form to the meatball and absorb the delicious meat juices that would otherwise be lost into the pan. Fancy some Scandi influence? Add some caraway seeds. Italian? Garlic and oregano. These a just a couple of ideas.

 

Let your mood take you. Be bold, be crazy, but DON’T waste that bread.

"ONE MILE BAKERY HALE – BEST THING SINCE SLICED…WELL, YOU KNOW." I’ve done a cookery class only once before. We all awkwardly stood round in a steel compound (industrial kitchen), nobody speaking, everybody giving each other’s pizza topping choices side-eye, followed by the most awkward lunch in living history as 20 of us ate our ‘masterpieces’ in silence. The One Mile Bakery class I attended felt less lesson and more ‘get together and lunch with friends’. The classes are held at the also very lovely home of Matt Townley, and right from the off I was made to feel less student, more friend invited over for lunch and a spot of baking. Matt has a very natural ease about him, supporting and encouraging his company that all are bakers in the making and it’s all about following your instincts. I also wish to point out that if you’re lucky enough to get on Matt’s delivery route, all packaging is 100% plastic free – delivery bags, soup containers and garnish pots are not only totally recyclable but 100% compostable too.
Laura Hudspeth
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