I have to reluctantly accept that sometimes you might not eat every last slice of your loaf. If you're one of those crazy few but hate waste, then this is the spot for you. Here are my top tips for using up those leftover slices and crusts.
(Insider tip: you can save up all your nobbly bread ends and scraps in a bag in the freezer and defrost them at room temperature once you have enough)
1. Bread and Butter Pudding.
Heat up your oven to 180c. Make up a custard by mixing 250ml milk (or oat milk) with 300ml cream (or oat cream) and a vanilla pod then heating the mix on the hob to just below boiling point. In a separate bowl whisk together 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk and 3 tbsp of sugar. Pour the milk mix over the eggs and stir constantly until smooth.
Butter your dish, butter both sides of 8 slices of slightly stale bread. Line the bottom of the dish with bread. Sprinkle over mixed dried fruit, or chocolate chips or marmalade blobs (whatever takes your fancy). Cover with another layer of bread, then your topping. Finish with a layer of bread.
Pour over the cream mix. Allow to soak for at least half an hour Sprinkle with sugar and bake for around 35-45 minutes until golden brown.
2. French Toast
Mix 2 eggs, 50ml of cream, 50ml of milk and 50g of sugar in a bowl. You can add in spices like nutmeg, cinnamon or clove, or grated citrus zest.
Slice your slightly stale bread into thick slices and dunk them into the milk mix for about 30 seconds on each side. Melt some butter in a large frying pan. Fry the soaked bread on both sides. Serve with maple syrup and banana, bacon and eggs....
3. Bread Sauce
Stud an onion with 12 fresh cloves. Pop the onion into 500ml of whole milk with a couple of bay leaves and some whole peppercorns and bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes. Then take it off the heat and allow the flavours to steep for an hour.
Blitz around 80-100g of bread into crumbs in a food processor. Remove the onion and bay from your milk and return to the heat. Add in the bread crumbs, 25g of butter, 1tsp of rye flour, 50ml double cream, 50ml of butter milk. Season well with salt and pepper. Add in some freshly grated nutmeg. Bring to a simmer and cook for around 5-10 minutes, stirring, until thickened. The proper thing to do is to use your cold leftover bread sauce as a spread for a leftover roast dinner sandwich. The circle of life completed.
Cube up your bread - around 1inch cubes are nice. Put them on a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. You can add some garlic powder too if you like. Toss them to coat and pop into a hot oven at 180c for about 10 minutes, turning around halfway. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn!
Either dry your bread out in an oven (around150C) or use fresh bread. Blitz in a food processor and then either freeze or store in an airtight container. Mixed with a little oil, fresh herbs, and seasoning and toasted in a pan with some garlic they make a great topping for pasta.