Whether you are a bread lover or not, left-over breads become part of our dining cycle. It is bread life’s own journey. Breads are either consumed immediately or they start to rot. Before they do (rot), there are a lot of ways we can consider and do to lengthen their lives. And yes, ultimately be digested, well, yeah, eaten.
Bread, bread, bread. There are some that become stone-hard if not devoured within the day of purchase, some during the first two hours after baking. The notorious ones are those from our local bakeries. Pandesal in my home-country, the Philippines, is one; pita bread or khobz in Saudi Arabia is another. They just loved that immediate attention or else, they begin to think about moving to the other side of their life. Such brats, aren’t they?
To beat them from saying goodbye too soon, they can be revived as croutons for salads. Simply dice them and sprinkle with butter or olive oil, put in the hot oven for a few minutes or till they are a bit crisp and there you have them! I do this almost always, in fact, I peep at left-over breads imagining croutons for salad.
Pita bread croutons are used mostly in Fattoush salads in the Middle East. Pita croutons are good as crispy snacks as well.
Below are some other ways you can revive left-over breads:
- French toast. Dip sliced white bread with egg and milk mixture and lightly fry them with butter. Serve with (pancake) syrup for breakfast. You can add cinnamon with the egg-milk mixture for a tastier French toast.
- Filipinos make biscocho (Spanish term for biscuit) out of left-over sliced white bread by spreading with butter or margarine and sprinkling them with sugar and then baking them for about 10 mins over medium heat. Biscochos are good with coffee or tea and are locally available in bakeries and supermarkets.
- Bread crumbs. Bake sliced white bread till crisp, then pound them. You can even rub one against another and you will make fine bread crumbs in the process. That, of course, requires time, if not patience.
- Zaatar bites. Cut pita bread in quarters, sprinkle them with olive oil and zaatar (dried oregano) and bake them for a few minutes over medium heat. Eat them as is – with coffee, tea or any of your favorite cold drinks.
- Fatteh. The same croutons from diced pita bread can be used in this delicious dish.
- Thareed. Although fresh khobz is recommended for this dish, day-old ones do not hurt because the sauce from the dish will soften the bread and the taste remains the same.
Did I tell you that I also am a quilter? I love scrap fabrics, I collect them, and I come up with a quilt from scraps. Saving left-overs – bread or otherwise, foodie or not, I just love giving life to what others might see as useless.
It’s rejuvenating – for me and for my scraps and left-overs.