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What to do with it? Whatever you do, don't throw it out!! There are so many things you can do with old bread. It amazed me that I actually paid good money for things like bread cubes for stuffing, croutons, bread crumbs (I really kick myself for that one!) and the like. Do you know how easy it is to make these things? And I actually threw out bread heels and stale bread. Gee, someone smack me. Anyway.
We had Reubens last night for supper and therefore I had made Rye bread for the sandwiches. (I even made the swirly Rye bread, can you see the swirls?) I've been on a bread making streak of late and there is bread coming out our ears! I had planned on making Reuben soup in my vita mixer later this week or early next and the recipe calls for Rye croutons. I thought "I can make that." And so I did. This took all of 5 minutes prep. I cut the bread into large cubes, threw them on baking stone, drizzled it with olive oil and Nadia helped me to stir them around so that each cube got coated. Then I dusted them with seasoned salt. I could've used garlic salt or something like that and I will next time. But, hey, whatever you like. Then I toasted them in a low oven for almost 2 hours till they were just how I wanted them. I actually could've put them in there for longer, but they were nice and crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, very nice. I had a loaf of Italian garlic bread from spaghetti night earlier this week that no one was eating so I'm making that into croutons as well. Nadia loves to snack on croutons and the garlic bread already had the right seasonings on it, so it was even easier!
Save bread heels and stale bread in a resealable bag in the freezer. The freezer will dry out the bread even further and you can do many things with this bread. They will last forever in there and you can pull out just what you need. You can toss a few slices in your blender and make bread crumbs. Add some Italian seasoning and salt and you have Italian bread crumbs. You can also use these frozen slices for stuffing. If you have a toddler sit on the floor with a large bowl and tear bread together. Nadia loves it. She eats some too. That's ok. You can also make a great bread pudding that goes together quickly. I'll share my favorite recipe for that.
Applesauce Bread Pudding
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Arrange in bottom of greased 9inch square pan:
4 slices of dry bread broken up
2 C Applesauce
.25 c brown sugar
.5 t. cinnamon
Spread over bread. Top with:
4 additional slices dry bread broken up
2 c. milk
.5 c brown sugar
.5 t vanilla
.25 t salt
Pour over bread. Top with:
sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar
Bake 55-60 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
This will be very full in the pan, but will not bake over. It will rise considerably during baking but then settle down when cool.
If you can think of anything else to use old bread for (besides french toast) let me know!