Crafting a variety of delicious, fresh bread is something that we at A Bread Affair have prided ourselves upon for a number of years. Using only premium organic ingredients, our products are baked fresh daily so as to garnish a dinner table, rest horizontally with a bevy of items in between (I believe they are calling it a ‘sandwich’ these days), or simply serve as a succulent snack on their own. There does exist one major downside in purchasing or making bread, however. If left for too long, the stuff has a tendency to get hard, chewy, and unappetizing. For lack of a better world, let’s call this state ‘stale’. Although we figure you’ll likely be devouring anything purchased from our shop long before it reaches this stage, sometimes a busy schedule or weak appetite interferes, henceforth leaving you with a slice, bunch, or loaf of unpalatable bread.
While the first reaction for many when faced with this situation may revolve around simply discarding the offending baked good, in reality there exist a number of ways that stale product may be re-used. For one, they can make great additions to a number of recipes, complimenting pastas, salads, soups, and stews in the form of sprinkles or baked crusts. The textures that are at your disposal through a re-incarnation of the bread originally intended for a trash bin are surprisingly diverse, adding new dimensions to dishes that will surely impress the palates of your family and guests. In the event that you are making meat patties or loaves, this addition can stretch expensive ingredients further, all while crafting a lighter taste and texture. The uses of this seldom-appraised culinary secret are extensive to say the least. Since you likely don’t have all day to read through this blog, we have narrowed down four basic ways that you can make proper use of dried bread.
Crust the Pan: Ever had a sample of Italian bread and wondered how its base comes to be so perfectly crisp and delightful? Well, for the first item on our list we’d like to present you with a little-known baker’s secret: by applying finely ground breadcrumbs to the bottom of a baking tray in lieu of the traditional bed of flour, one can ensure that not only will the dough not stick, but also that the finished product has that special authentic crunch to it.
Breadcrumbs: Nothing compliments a baked pasta dish quite like a layer of breadcrumbs baked into the top. In order to maximize the potency of this textural marvel, we recommend running the bread through a food processor so as to grind it up as fine as possible.
Toasts: By breaking apart the pieces of bread and storing them away in an airtight jar or container, you can purposefully craft yourself some crispy snacks for later. Bring these out at a dinner party, complete with garnishes of cheese, sliced meats, dips, veggies, or pickled goods, and you are sure to make your guests happy and hungry for more.
Croutons: These can be made by breaking apart old bread and applying the pieces to soups, salads, or any other dish that you please. In order to add a bit more zest, try tossing them together with garlic, herbs, chili powder, or crushed black pepper.
So there you have it folks, just a few reasons why you should reconsider tossing away that aging bread. Since waiting on the expiry of one of our exquisite products can be a time consuming and stomach-grumbling process, we recommend that you try proper techniques in order to ‘stale’ the bread. You can achieve this by leaving slices laid out on a baking tray, or by putting them in the oven on a low heat until they start to get hard and crispy. Now, you can also preserve the freshness of your bread by following a few simple techniques. Either way, don’t take our word on these tips, rather go out and see what flavorful concoctions you can create and share with us on Facebook and Instagram!