Never throw away bread again with these great recipes
New Zealanders waste more bread than any other food item. 20 million loaves of bread end up in our landfills each year.
There are many reasons why we waste bread – it goes stale or mouldy, not everyone wants to eat the crusts or bread-ends and kids’ sandwiches often come home in their lunchbox uneaten.
In order to save our bread (or bagels or brioche) from the bin, we need to think outside the standard toast and sammies.
Store bread somewhere cold
The humid climate in New Zealand means our bread goes mouldy quicker than elsewhere. While it may be fine in the bread-bin for a day or two, keeping it in the fridge or freezer will stop it growing mould. You can toast it straight from frozen and if you make sandwiches, they will be defrosted by lunchtime.
How to use stale bread
If you store your bread in the freezer it shouldn’t go stale. However if you do have a loaf that’s past its best, there is no need to throw it out as there many things you can do with it. Collect bread that you are tempted to chuck out – that last roll, the ends of the loaves or that half of a baguette that is so crusty that it hurts your jaw – and store them in the freezer until you need them.
Croutons add crunch to salads and soups and are easy to make. Cut bread into small squares and coat with olive oil and any flavourings you like (garlic, herbs, parmesan etc). Cook them in an oven at 150°C until they are brown and crunchy. Baked croutons keep for a month in a sealed container in the fridge.
It is easy to make your own breadcrumbs at home if you have a food processor. Grind your bread (crusts and stale slices are great for this) into crumbs and use to crumb fish, make schnitzel or to top macaroni cheese. They can also be used to thicken soup, as a stuffing for chicken, in a crumble topping or in kumara and roast meat croquettes. If you aren’t going to use them immediately you can freeze them. If you want to add flavour to breadcrumbs you can include things such as garlic and herbs when you process them.
Bread is often the unsung hero of many recipes, such as these apple roll ups. Speaking of roll ups, we managed to get Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt to share his legendary cheese roll recipe with us. For a spin on the traditional bread-and-butter pudding, try this savoury version where you can use up any little bits of meat or vegetables that you have in the fridge.