What To Do With Bread Ends

We go through a lot of bread in our house. Hubby takes a sandwich everyday for lunch. I am a carb whore so not a day goes by when I don’t have a couple pieces of toast. Bagels are my weakness – my doctor actually cut me off of bagels at my seventh month mark in my pregnancy. Guess those cheesy white bread ones were catching up too fast! Probably why I have yet to drop a bit of this baby weight too. Baby weight, bagel weight… same difference. Anyways, going through all of this bread, we are always left with ends that no one wants to eat. I took a page out of Jamie Oliver’s Save With Jamie Cookbook and discovered a fantastic method of using them all up. By the way, the entire book is full of amazing, cost-saving ideas for in the kitchen, grocery shopping and cooking. It is a must read if you are the one who does the shopping and cooking in the house. This lovely chef suggested using up bread ends to make your own bread crumbs and croutons. I fell in love with the idea and took it to the next level by saving all sorts of bread ends. Even English Muffins, focaccia, sour dough, and more. The bigger the variety, the tastier the turnout in my mind. They turned out so well that I wanted to share my recipe with you. I use them in salads of course and even sprinkle them on top of casseroles and mac & cheese when I bake them in the oven. Happy Crotoning!
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Supplies needed:
Bread Ends of all kinds
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Chile Flakes
Fresh Rosemary
Air tight containers for storage
Directions:
Collect your bread ends. I would just freeze them as I came across them. Once I had a large amount, I spread them out on a baking tray to harden and go stale. This took a couple of days. Once they were hard, I ripped them into small pieces, crouton sized and put them into a large mixing bowl. I added a cup of Olive Oil, lots of salt & pepper, a tablespoon of chile flakes and about seven sprigs of fresh Rosemary. I hate putting quantaties on the seasonings because everyone is different. I love extra salt & pepper on just about everything so add as much as you like really. Same with the chile flakes. If you do not like heat, leave em out. Though I do recommend adding them as having that little kick of heat made them quite delicious. I had fresh Rosemary growing in my garden but I am sure dried would work okay too. Stir in all of the seasonings and cover with tin foil. Leave the mixture for 2-3 hours to let the flavours settle. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for fifteen minutes. Toss the croutons around and bake for another ten minutes. They should be golden brown and crispy when you take them out. I let mine cool for about twenty minutes and then stored them in air tight containers. That was about two weeks ago and they are still fresh – and still very delicious!
I had quite a bit left over and was running out of storage options. I put the rest of the bread slices into my Ninja Blender and made them into coarse bread crumbs. Honestly, they are proving to be better than store bought in my recipes. So there you go, no more bread end waste!
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