Save the Bread!

It’s that time again. Today, I leapt into a pantry of stale foods wondering what to do with them. The first (and most successful, I think) item I saved from the trash was a loaf of stale sourdough (with white flour, unfortunately, but it’s the first step in my family’s progression from commercial white bread to whole wheat sourdough). Thankfully the bread wasn’t moldy, so it could be used for something else–namely bread crumbs. (Croutons were actually the first thing that came to mind, but my family’s not big on them.)

With a new (and super nice) food processor in possession (a Christmas gift), the task of transforming the undesirable loaf of stale bread into delightful bread crumbs was a snap.

(Note: I didn’t season these…..at all. I figured we could season them as we wanted to for the recipe. Feel free to season with whatever you’d like, of course. :))

Bread Crumbs (from stale bread)

Ingredient: as much stale bread as available

*Special equipment: food processor

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Cut up bread into 2-inch chunks and pulse in food processor until finely ground.

3. Pour the crumbs from the processor on an ungreased cookie sheet (with sides), and shake cookie sheet back and forth until evenly spread out.

4. Bake at 450 until the crumbs turn a golden brown (approx. 2 min); remove sheet and shake back and forth to bake them evenly; place sheet back in oven for a minute or so more until all the crumbs are dried out completely (until they’re crunchy).

5. Remove sheet and allow to cool for a minute, and pour crumbs back into processor and grind again, getting the crumbs to be more uniform.*

*Step 5 is optional, but I found that mine needed to be ground the second time for the best uniformity.

I poured the cooled bread crumbs into plastic bags (if you use plastic bags to store yours too, make sure the crumbs are cooled, as you don’t want the chemicals in plastic leeching into your food) and stored them in the refrigerator. I really don’t know how long they’ll keep, but my best guess would be a week or two, depending on when it smells/looks moldy or becomes soft.

My first attempt at whole wheat sourdough this past weekend failed miserably. I’m thinking the two loaves would make pretty nice bread crumbs. 🙂

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