Too much bread
May 27, 2020 8:51 AM   Subscribe

The good news: My quarantine buddy makes fresh bread about three times a week. The bad news: I am eating too much bread. I don't want it to go to waste but I also want to stop eating so much at once. Can I salvage this situation?

I know about bread pudding (I prefer savory) but I don't have much experience of using bread apart from Thanksgiving-style dressing and making sandwiches. I am about to slice up the loaves that are going stale but I don't know what to do with them. Luckily, the complex where I am does composting so I can toss them if need be. But I would much prefer to cook things that I can freeze for future meals. Recipes and idea for things you have made with bread and enjoyed would be much appreciated.
posted by Bella Donna to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Bread crumbs can be useful, but probably not in enough quantity to be helpful.

Many things served over rice or noodles can be served over toast, and some like the traditional hot turkey sandwich are best on toast.

Otherwise, make a friend by giving a loaf away when supply exceeds demand.
posted by SemiSalt at 8:57 AM on May 27

Croutons! Just cut up and bake until dry - they will last a long time or you can freeze. Add any flavourings or oil you want before baking. Garlic powder and oregano are good.
posted by hazyjane at 8:58 AM on May 27 [5 favorites]

Jose Andres does a good garlic/bread soup, Sopa de Ajo
posted by Think_Long at 9:04 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]

Most bread freezes really well, so I'd suggest using that to your advantage.

Generally, whenever we make fresh bread, any of it that doesn't get eaten that same day goes immediately into the freezer. Later, when we want it, it defrosts quickly on the countertop, and is often just as good as when it was freshly-made.

Our other strategy is halving recipes. A lot of bread recipes are intended to serve more than just two people. Making a smaller quantity helps you stretch out your supplies a bit longer, and as long as you maintain the proportions, it's every bit as delicious.
posted by vitout at 9:07 AM on May 27 [16 favorites]

Depending on the type of bread, you could slice it thinly and crisp it up in the oven and then make bruschetta!
posted by DoubleLune at 9:09 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]

Slice and freeze. Reach out to your neighbors to arrange trades.
posted by bunderful at 9:09 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

Talking of bread-inclusive Spanish soups, gazpacho is another good way to use up slightly-stale bread.
posted by terretu at 9:11 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

I'd eat panzanella every day, especially if tomato season is approaching for you.

Stradas also work well for the freezer; it's basically a savory bread pudding.
posted by veery at 9:14 AM on May 27 [10 favorites]

Have you ever had the delicious Greek garlic dip called Skordalia? It's made with bread, and it's so incredibly tasty, assuming you like garlic. My favorite skordalias are made with so much raw garlic it burns a little when you eat it. I admittedly have not tried the specific recipe I linked to but it's the closest I could find to how I make it - there are tons of permutations though, using white vinegar or lemon instead of red wine vinegar, using potatoes and/or nuts instead of or in addition to bread, etc. It doesn't last long in my house because we eat it on everything when we make it, but I have to imagine it would last a pretty long time in the fridge given the ingredients. Traditionally it's eaten with fish, but it's good on everything.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 9:17 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]

Ribollita is another great soup that uses up a lot of stale bread.
posted by Pandora Kouti at 9:27 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

I'm baking a bit too much bread too. I do all of the above - freeze loaves, make croutons, freeze breadcrumbs. I also make tomato bread soup, panzanella, Zuni's chicken bread salad, and ribollita.

Your roommate might think about giving away some bread. My friends love getting a homemade loaf. Also, if she is making sourdough and has too much starter, she might want to make pizza or pancakes.
posted by shoesietart at 9:33 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

At the risk of stating the obvious - if you dont have reason to believe you are sick or have come into contact with anyone who is, is giving away some of the bread an option? I have also been baking sourdough (10 mins left on my current loaf) but 3x a week would be unsustainable if we were not gifting bread when we see people (socially distantly).

seconding and thirding many of the suggestions (panzanella, strata, ribollita) and halving the recipes. makes the "bulk" in bulk fermentation something of a misnomer but its the right call for scaling our bread production, anyway.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:35 AM on May 27 [4 favorites]

shoesietart and i were writing at the same time, but one of the legit most gratifying parts of baking bread for me is hearing form people ive shared it with that they are enjoying it!
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 9:36 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]

Stale bread -> French toast (in French it's called pain perdu, or bread that is lost to other purposes)
posted by trig at 10:27 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

Give it away to local food pantries?
posted by kokaku at 10:41 AM on May 27

Bruschetta. Slice it, brush garlic oil on both sides, make big crouton-y toasts. Top with anything that might go well on pasta or be a good sandwich. Tuna or egg salad. Ham & cheese and run it under a broiler. Olive tapenade. Artichoke hearts.
posted by theora55 at 11:02 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

My kids pick up bread at the end of the day from the fancy bakery, for little or no money. Then they slice it all up, and freeze it in slices. The slices are very easy to take out individually and put straight on the toaster or in the oven. I've been doing it with some of the excess bread I have made this spring, imagining that when summer arrives with house guests, I can put up breakfasts with a whole selection of different breads. Or bruschetta for snacking on before dinner. Or grilled cheese sandwiches for when you just can't really cook anything.
Traditional Danish apple "pie" is like a crumble, but made with breadcrumbs roasted with sugar. You can do the roasting now, or freeze normal breadcrumbs and roast them before use. Cook the apples into a mush, with or without added sugar, depending on taste and apples. Sprinkle over a thick layer of crunchy crumbs. Serve the dessert with whipped cream and a red jelly cut into squares.
I've never tried to make a Scotch egg myself, but they are a very tasty way to use bread crumbs.
posted by mumimor at 11:24 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]

Barter! I traded a loaf of bread and a jar of bourbon-soaked cherries to a theater guy I knew in return for some masks he made. I would love to baking bread at the same rate, but giving loaves away would be the first thing on my mind.

other things-- slice thin and toast hard, and you've got a reasonable substitute cracker.

If your roommate is amenable, other forms of bread are available besides loaves: english muffins, bagels, crackers, crumpets, hoagie rolls, dinner rolls, pretzels.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:27 AM on May 27

Unless you think there's some hope that they might respond well to a polite request for a bit less bread baking, I would focus on giving it away rather than making its storage and consumption a problem for future you.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:30 PM on May 27

Make stuffing/dressing as a side for poultry... think of this as Thanksgiving time.
posted by mightshould at 3:38 PM on May 27

Please woman up and ask your quarantine buddy to bake less or donate / share with others who don't have access to fresh bread. Storing it or repurposing it as croutons or French toast doesn't really solve your problem, and composting it or otherwise not eating it at all seems horribly wasteful when people are going hungry and not able to buy flour.

Please. You can do this, without making your breadmate feel bad at all. Just beg for mercy from all the delicious bread!
posted by amtho at 5:52 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]

I think you might be talking about bread and butter pudding, but that bears no familial relationship to what I know as a bread pudding. Does that help?

Breadcrumbs - stale but untoasted - will make a treacle tart. (We never put lemon in ours but that's a sensible addition because it's very sweet.) You can make golden syrup by boiling sugar, water and a slice of lemon, which I've done successfully in the past after finding instructions on the Internet somewhere. Blitzing the bread in a blender a couple of times will make even breadcrumbs, but for this recipe tearing slices into cubes by hand works just fine, and you want biggish bits for the texture.

You might suggest they make a tea bread once in a while. Honestly I would mix genres and use (really strong) tea soaked raisins for that with a goodly dose of ground cinnamon and clove, maybe a spot of nutmeg. DO NOT make this in a bread maker, the spices will remind you of what you did for a long time to come. It also lasts a bit longer than plain bread and toasts well. It's sweet but not cake-sweet.

It it comes to freezing bread it's actually easier if you make rolls or, better still, baps. (There are 101 bread roll shapes and sizes; also consider a proper stottie.)

Savoury: meatloaf happily accepts breadcrumbs, and if you mix about 60/40 ground pork and breadcrumbs, throw in pepper and herbs (sage and/or thyme) and use an egg to bind it together you can make it into a patty and fry it. Both will freeze before or after cooking.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:17 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]

A central European dressing is roasted breadcrumbs - like croutons but finer.

Tablespoon of butter to about half a cup of breadcrumbs fried until lightly caramelised and crispy. Sprinkled as a dressing on vegetables, especially steamed cauliflower, beans, broccoli, etc. or on gnocchi or pasta.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 12:39 AM on June 18

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