We don't use much bread and when I do buy it we have left overs. But I know left over, going stale bread is a pretty usual thing in many households. The first thing is if you are buying bread to toast then keep it in the freezer and toast it as you need it. Then none goes to waste at all.
When you do have tired bread there are so many things you can make that really stretch the budget. The more people you have to feed and the hungrier they are the bigger the issue this is.
Years ago we went to a beautiful cake and they had a huge "cake" on a stand, covered in glistening glazed mulberries. It looked so fabulous. It was Bread and Butter Pudding, gone glam! I tried it. They warmed it and served it with cream. It was one of the best things I had ever tried!
Over time I decided to try and re create it at home and this is what I came up with and I pretty much got it the same.
It looks like a cake and cuts like a cake... it is not mushy and does not collapse as you cut it... so it looks beautiful to serve.
Trying to demonstrate this...
I don't know what it is but men seem to go mad over deserts like this!
It uses about 3/4 a loaf of white bread. But it would also use up left over buns, raisin toast, hot cross buns, croissants, pastries etc as well. And all of these are in supermarkets a day or two old for about a dollar a packet so perfectly suited to being re created.
Use a medium sized cake tin or casserole dish, not spring loaded ones as it would leak.
Line your dish on the bottom and right around with non stick baking paper.
In the bottom line the dish with fresh or frozen berries, any kind and/or plum, berry or strawberry jam. I used a whole small jar of jam. Be generous. I microwave it for a minute so it pours in. I was being economical so had no fresh berries just jam I had made in summer. I make a lot of jam so this uses up a jar. Yay! You can skip the berries but you cannot skip the jam.
Then cut the dark hard crusts off the bread. Put these out for the birds. :)
I used about 3/4 of a load of white bread. Arrange half of your bread in the dish trying to fill in the gaps a bit so it is covered right around. I admit a square dish would be easier. I just like round as I want to sit it on a cake stand.
Wizz up one can of Evaporated milk ( I use the light one) with three eggs and 3/4 cup of castor sugar (really any sugar will do) and 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence.
After you have lined the dish with half your bread add some berries or jam to make a middle layer. Pour over some of your milky mix. Now top with rest of bread and pour over remaining mix.
Poke it a bit to encourage the mix to get through all the bread, you don't want any dry spots. Let it sit for half an hour. In this time the bread will soak up the mix and plump up like crazy!
At this stage it looks pretty tragic. Have faith it will be fabulous.
Cook in a medium oven until it is risen, golden brown. Mine took about 40 mins. Test with a skewer.
Let sit and cool a bit but while still warm carefully tip it upside down on a lovely dish or cake stand. Carefully peel away the papers. The bottom is now the top. It is a sticky gorgeous glazed drippy divine top that looks amazing!
Serve warm with cream.
It is so good.
Mine would serve 8.
The fact that you could use buns or mix in croissant or raisin bread etc means you can really use up so many left overs.
In an earlier post I showed you how to make Nan's tomato pie. She served this with most roasts she made and I loved it. Now I know she was probably trying to stretch the roast with many vegies and this pie. But I loved the pie most of all! This was covered in torn up left over bread and grated cheese and baked until golden.
Similarly you can make a tuna mornay and tear up bread over the top, top that with grated cheese and bake. This topping is yummy and stretches the meal by a mile.
Mum used to trim the crusts from bread and roll the slices with a rolling pin. Then press them into muffin pans to make bread cases. She would cook them until firm and dry. Then these are preserved like croutons are. She would fill these with mornay or eggs and we loved this.
I used to use slices of bread to make little pizzas for the girls to take to school. I cut them diagonally and cooked them in the oven covered in tomato base, bacon, cheese etc and they loved that. We also had jaffle or toastie nights and some bread was just cut into squares and dried for a few minutes in the oven. I would keep these in a big jar to go with soups.
There is just so much you can do. And if time doesn't permit throw the bread into the freezer until it does. Bread in the freezer is wonderful to make a stuffing for your roast chicken. I notice that Jamie Oliver makes extra stuffing in a baking dish so everyone gets plenty, it stretches your roast too. I love this idea.
In winter a hot gooey desert is particularly good. I think I can serve soup for dinner if I follow it up with a desert like this pudding. Everyone is very happy!
We have a lovely sunny day. I am drying the towels and making the most of it. Days like this are beautiful and good to get lots of things done, they inspire energy somehow! And I'm off to Spotlight for some wool for my rug which is becoming HUGE and heavy. I am loving it. I live to crochet one more row every chance I get! xxx