Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mopping Up Overlooked Bits

Oops, I never did finish writing about bread crumbs and stale bread. . .

I need to double-check that bread crumb measurement.

Making Stale Bread On Purpose

Many recipes call for stale bread: croutons, French Toast #, Bread Pudding #, Bread Crumbs #, Stuffing #, etc. To make stale bread, leave slices of bread on the counter overnight without any sort of airtight covering. You can put them in a paper bag if you prefer.

To make stale bread in a hurry, put the bread on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 degrees for a half hour.

If your recipe calls for cubes or torn-up pieces of stale bread, you may find that it is easier to cut or tear the bread before it has gone stale.

Stale bread can be frozen until you need it. This is particularly useful for Thanksgiving stuffing, which is a hassle to make if you leave the bread chopping until the last minute. Save up heels of bread as you finish eating loaves of bread, and collect them, diced and stale, in a bag in the freezer. Then when you need them, they will be ready to grab and use. You can toss them right into your recipe without thawing them.

Bread Crumbs

Bread crumbs are an ingredient used in various recipes, such as “breaded” meats, and in Balls, Patties, and Loaves #. If you don't want to buy them,you can make your own by crumbling or chopping stale or toasted bread.

Some kinds of bread make better bread crumbs than others. Ironically, the easiest bread to make bread crumbs from is exactly the sort that you wouldn't want to eat any other way: cheap, mass-produced white bread. Whole grain breads and artisanal breads have a tendency to become rock-hard when stale. These, of course, can be grated to produce bread crumbs, but white bread becomes so delicate that it can be crushed into crumbs in your hands.

One slice of bread (or one hamburger or one hotdog bun) makes about a half cup of bread crumbs.

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