At the back of our grocery store is the rack of day old bakery items. Loaves of sourdough, french bread, regular sliced wheat bread and many more goodies are piled on this shelf and sold for just a quarter or two. Granted, you need to eat this bread soon or it will go bad. OR…use it for one of these fabulous recipe ideas below, which are all made better by almost-stale bread!
1. Homemade Croutons
It’s amazing how homemade croutons can totally make a salad. I keep it simple – cut the bread into cubes, pour a combination of melted butter and olive oil over the bread cubes, sprinkle garlic salt, parmesan cheese and a little bit or parsley or Italian seasoning over and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until desired level of crunch is reached.
2. Breakfast Casserole
Tear pieces of bread in the bottom of a greased baking dish. In a mix bowl, whisk together eggs (I did 5 eggs for 2 people), a little bit of milk, some cooked sausage, green peppers, onions and shredded cheddar. Poor over the bread and bake at 375 for about 45 minutes. This is one of our favorite breakfast for dinner dishes – full of protein!
3. French Toast Casserole
Similar to the casserole above, tear pieces of bread into a greased pan. In a mix bowl, whisk together some eggs, milk, cinnamon and vanilla. Last time we even added a little pureed pumpkin and pumpkin pie seasoning to the mix for pumpkin French toast! Pour mixture over bread. Refrigerate over night, then sprinkle with brown and/or powdered sugar before baking at 350 for about 45 minutes. Serve with additional powdered sugar or syrup.
4. Zucchini Parmesan Bake
Cut zucchini into slices. Heat olive oil in a skillet then cook zucchini. Sprinkle with italian seasoning while cooking. When mostly soft, pour spaghetti sauce over zucchini and continue to cook until heated through. Pour into a greased baking dish. Top with croutons (from idea 1) and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes at 400.
This is just a start for all you can do with a 25 cent loaf of French bread! Next time I think I’m going to try making some homemade bread crumbs…and who knows what else!