Store cupboard staples and how to use them: Leftover bread
Bap, roll, bun, cob, barm or batch: there’s a reason why we have so many words for bread in the UK. It’s a stalwart of the British diet, suitable for all locations and times of day, whether it’s popping out of the toaster at breakfast, sandwiching fresh fillings at a picnic or sitting alongside a steaming soup at the pub. Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t have a very long shelf life and while this baker’s staple is best enjoyed hot out of the oven, not all of us can eat an entire loaf before it goes stale. But the good news is you don’t have to. We have compiled some great recipes that will let your leftover bread live another day.
Gordon Ramsay’s Cinnamon Eggy Bread with Stewed Apples
How do you like your eggs in the morning? Surely there’s no better way than frying them up in a plate of eggy bread, or “French toast” as our American cousins like to call it. This is the perfect way to use up a loaf that’s past its best and return it to glory. This video will show you how to spice up the brunch classic with cinnamon and then take it a step further with a delicious topping of quick stewed apples.
Massimo Bottura’s Bread Crisps
Bringing home the bread is all well and good, but even more important is making the most of this valuable resource, ensuring it goes the furthest it possibly can. Italian culinary icon Massimo Bottura’s book Bread Is Gold is the ultimate guide to eliminating food waste, compiling recipes from world-famous chefs which use up our leftover ingredients. Among these, Bottura’s own recipe for Bread Crisps offers a much more refined answer to stale bread. The delicate dessert pairs the crisps with bread and sugar cream, an indulgent salted caramel ice-cream and even a sprinkling of inspired caramel croutons.
John Torode’s Truffled Macaroni and Smoked Haddock Bake
If anyone knows that everyday cooks can achieve exceptional things, it’s Masterchef star John Torode. His Truffled Macaroni and Smoked Haddock Bake is what co-presenter Greg Wallace would undoubtedly call an “absolute delight”. The smokey fish, subtle truffle and creamy gruyère guarantee to revolutionise the way you think about mac ‘n’ cheese, but it’s the crispy breadcrumb topping that really makes the dish sing. I’ve made it using brown bread, so don’t let the ingredients list hold you back.
French Guy Cooking’s Croutons
The obvious way to use up bread is always to toast it, but why not ring the changes and fry up some easy croutons? The French Guy’s video gives some great tips for whipping up this crunchy topping, perfect on any salad or soup. It won’t take much time at all and they taste much better than the shop-bought alternative.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Spicy Lamb and Bread Lasagne
You’ve probably heard of the classic carb-on-carb combo of bread and lasagne, but have you heard of bread in lasagne? Yotam Ottolenghi describes his spicy lamb dish as more of a “savoury bread pudding” based on an old Sardinian classic, but with comforting flavours of cheese, nutmeg, tomato and basil, your tastebuds might just be reminded of the iconic layered pasta bake.
Ikea’s Swedish Meatballs
Though Ikea has reopened, the prospect of standing in those queues in the current climate is less than appealing. Luckily, anyone who wants to recreate this shopping experience in the comfort of their own home can now cook up their iconic Swedish meatballs. The company released its special recipe on Instagram back at the beginning of lockdown in April, and though it might not be gourmet cuisine, at the very least it’s a welcome taste of nostalgia.
Romain Meder’s Strawberry Tart
Using stale bread is perhaps not the traditional way to make a strawberry tart, but when it’s a recipe from Romain Meder, executive chef at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée – ranked number 16 in the World’s 50 best restaurants – you can guarantee it will work. It’s strawberry season so there’s no better time to try this treat, which looks as inviting as a hot summer’s day.
Rachel Phipp’s Dark Chocolate and Marmalade Bread and Butter Pudding
End your day the right way with the most British dessert of all. Rachel Phipp’s dark chocolate and marmalade bread and butter pudding takes the classic recipe handed down by your gran and upgrades it with rich dark chocolate and Paddington’s favourite treat, a generous helping of marmalade.