We rarely find ourselves faced with a surfeit of bread in our household; we buy one loaf per week at the farmer's market and it gets devoured pretty quickly. Sometimes, however, there's a crust or heel that lingers in the cupboard until it turns hard or stale. Though we'd like to use it for breadcrumbs or croutons, there may not be enough for any significant amount, or it may not fit into our current cooking plans. A tip in the latest issue of hippie favorite, Mother Earth News reminded us that these odds and ends can still be saved for later.In an article about food waste (a topic that's often on our minds), there's a suggestion to freeze stale bread and hard crusts. (It's also a good idea to freeze bread before it gets stale, if you know you aren't going to be able to eat it in time.) For some reason, while we're accustomed to the practice of freezing whole loaves or rolls, it had never occurred to us to freeze stray crusts and slices. Once accumulated, these can be thawed and used to make breadcrumbs, bread pudding, French toast, or strata.
We know this tip may already be common practice for some of you. If so, how do you like to use frozen overstocks of bread?
Emily Ho is a writer, recipe developer, and educator. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches classes on food preservation, wild food, and herbalism. Emily is a Master Food Preserver and founder of LA Food Swap and the international Food Swap Network.
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