Crusty, tired looking and sometimes in pieces, bread ends are a real waste. Or so it would seem. I cannot begin to imagine how many I have tossed in the garbage over my lifetime, perceiving them as useless. Then, recently I began to think about these forlorn bread ends and attempted to give them a new purpose.
When I reach “the end” of a bag of bread, I take the bag and seal it with the bread tie and toss them in the freezer. At the end of the next loaf, I add those remnants to the bag in the freezer. Then, I can use them in one of the following ways:
1) Bread Crumbs ~ When a recipe calls for breads crumbs, I can pull some out and place them in the food processor or cheese grater. Add seasonings or melted butter if needed use use them to top your casseroles or as filling in your meatloaf and meatballs.
2) Croutons ~ Stack the bread ends together while still frozen and using a serrated knife, cut them into cubes. Toss with your choice of seasonings and melted butter. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet in put into a 350 degree oven until crispy.
3) Bread Pudding ~ My favorite recipe is for Caramel Bread Pudding. Yummy and simple.
If you have fresh bread ends, here are some other ideas to use them without taking up space in your freezer:
1) Softener ~ Not for your laundry! For hard brown sugar or even cookies that baked too long, place a bread end into a bag with the cookies or sugar and they will soften overnight!
2) Sandwiches ~ Yes, I know that children do not like bread ends either but if you serve a sandwich with the bread end facing the inside of the sandwich, they may not even notice! This works best with peanut butter and jelly, chicken or tuna salad, and grilled cheese.
3) Bird Food ~ Feed the birds in your backyard or take yor children to the park and feed the ducks. It is a very economical way to spend quality time together as a family.