Thursday, February 3, 2011

Solutions For Bread Flops

There are few things nicer than pulling a beautiful homemade loaf of bread fresh out of a warm oven! There are few things as disappointing as finding out that the loaf of bread you worked so hard on is a flop. Perhaps it didn't rise enough and is flat, or maybe too much and it got air holes in it; you forgot salt (no biggie? just taste it and you'll recant), it's too dense, or perhaps it falls apart when you slice it. You're discouraged and now hungry from the smell of bread.

Photo Credit: Emily Carlin

Trust me, it happens to everyone once in a while, even seasoned bread bakers. Sure it happens more often when you're just starting out and learning all the little tricks that make the difference in a successful loaf or not, but sometimes things just happen. Bread can be finicky. (And sometimes it just gets stale!) Don't throw it away or feed it to the chickens just yet! Convert that loaf into something that works...

Solutions For Bread Flops

Croutons: Cut into squares, toss with some olive oil and seasonings (or omit them), bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes, turn and bake another 15 minutes. All this is by preference, so experiment and see what works best for you as far as time and temperature.

Photo Credit: ilmungo

Bread Pudding: Okay, this isn't my speciality because it is not my favorite, but I'm probably the only person on earth that doesn't like bread pudding. So I'm afraid your own your own for finding a recipe, but perhaps I at least planted the idea in someone's mind.

Photo Credit: Charles Haynes

• Bread Crumbs: I use bread crumbs in my meat loaf recipe as well as a topping on squash when I bake it in a casserole dish along with cheddar cheese. Occasionally I take chicken, dip it into a milk and egg mixture and then roll my chicken in the bread crumbs for a crusty coating on baked chicken. To make really nice bread crumbs, I just tear the bread into pieces and drop it in my VitaMix, turn it on low, and voila! Bread crumbs!

To store your bread crumbs (or croutons), freeze them in zip lock bags so you have what you need anytime your heart desires.

• Tuscan Bread Soup: I have an awesome Rachel Ray recipe for this delicious tomato soup that I'll try to post really soon. Usually I make it with a sourdough bread, but I don't see why it wouldn't work with any firm bread (perhaps an over cooked or dense loaf?). Funny how I don't like bread pudding, but I love this soup. And if you don't tell your family, they'll never know it's in there. 

Photo Credit: Muy Yum

• French Toast: How about covering that mistake with a lot of maple syrup? Turn that failed loaf into breakfast quick as a wink!

Photo Credit: jspatchwork

So now you have no excuse not to try making a loaf of homemade bread, right? 

How do you use your bread flops?

This post has been added to Simple Lives Thursday @ GNOWFGLINS™


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