It’s easy to save a little money if you are willing to look at something with new eyes.
Take, for instance, when you’re trying to bake bread or a pastry.
I’m more of a cook than a baker, so a lot of my attempts at baking have ended with a something stale and hard. But I feel like I’m dumping greenbacks into the garbage can if I throw away my bricks of bread. Instead, I transform it into something new.
Here are four ways you can save bad bread:
Bread pudding. My mom made my dad a Sock-It-To-Me Cake, but she forgot the sour cream, a key ingredient. She was about to throw the whole cake away and make another. I rescued the cake and used it as the base of a bread pudding. Though I came up with a bread pudding based on several recipes, it was very similar to this Kentucky recipe.
Stuffing. I don’t want to talk about the time I tried to make biscuits. It was a disaster. But I got some good stuffing from it, so everyone was a winner.
Croutons. If you have some stale bread, or a really bad hunk of a loaf that just didn’t quite turn into the bread you wanted it to be, slice it into squares, toss with some olive oil and Italian seasoning, and bake for about 10 minutes or until crunchy. Thank me later.
French toast. When I was a kid, I remember watching an episode of The Babysitters’ Club in which a kid spilled some milk on the counter. A teenage boy trying out to be in the club cracked an egg on top of the milk, dipped some slices of bread in the mess, and fried it on a griddle. That kid was on to something. This is perfect for that half loaf of bread you didn’t get to fast enough.
Baby D’s is in the Highlands and serves an extensive menu of (you guessed it) bagel sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even fourth meal. Here’s what you’ll learn from a quick glance at the menu:
14 types of bagels
At least 30 types of sandwiches with names like the Rick Pitino, Hangover Cure and Young Cheezy
Two hours later, I was left with a double sink full of dough-covered dishes and some dense biscuits.
I hated to waste food, especially a dozen biscuits that took used three cups of flour and a stick of butter. I considered giving them to Roscoe, but he said he was watching his cholesterol.
Then, I remembered what someone once told me about bad cornbread — a terrible batch can be the base for a great stuffing dish.
I applied that cornbread reasoning to my biscuits. I found a recipe in the Kentucky Fresh Cookbook for a basic stuffing (or dressing, whatever you grew up calling it) and substituted the biscuits for the stale bread. The biscuits, which could have doubled as paper weights, transformed into this:
Don’t give up on a bad dish because it didn’t turn out the way you wanted. Just improvise — and be willing to make a mess.
I muddled two banana bread loaves before I hit perfection.
I blame the recipes, both ripped from the women’s lifestyle magazines to which my mother and I subscribe (don’t judge me, they’re awesome). Both loaves were dense and dry, more suitable for home insulation than human consumption. I even tried to salvage one loaf by cutting it into pieces and re-baking them as banana nut bread croutons. It was bad. Real bad.
A link to the following recipe appeared in my timeline, and it sounded like perfection. Bananas? My favorite fruit. Nutella? My favorite chocolate-y spread. The option to make banana bread muffins instead of a loaf? Count me in.
The muffins were fantastic. I prefer the muffins to a loaf because of a shorter baking time and the portability of a muffin. The Nutella adds a new flavor to a traditional recipe along with keeping the muffins moist. I recommend eating them slightly warm so the Nutella is still a little gooey.