Thursday, September 11, 2014

To Use up Stale Bread.

The principles and practice of not wasting bread are themes I refer to quite regularly for several, hopefully fairly obvious reasons. Once upon a not-too distant time, to waste bread was an unconscionable act – a sin, even. Throughout most of history, the specific ways in which bread scraps were re-used were not documented. Mostly, dry and stale as they may have been, they were likely eaten without much enhancement other than a dip in broth or soup, if that was available. But there are a lot more ideas for your crusts and crumbs.

In 1917, the United States Department of Agriculture Farmers’ Bulletin No. 817, How to Select Foods: II. Cereal Foods contained a couple of ideas which caught my fancy. The booklet gave the usual ideas for stale bread – toast, croutons, etc, but it also suggested that breadcrumbs be used in place of flour in some recipes. It was my luck that one of these was in gingerbread, and as you know, I cannot resist a new gingerbread recipe. And pancakes are pretty good too. Let us please return to the regular practice of not wasting even the tiniest piece of the staff of life.

1 cup crumbs.
2 ¼ cups skim milk.
½ cup flour.
4 teaspoons baking powder.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar.
1 teaspoon melted fat.
1 egg.
Soak crumbs in milk for three-quarters of an hour. Then add other ingredients and cook on a hot griddle like ordinary pancakes. If sour milk is used, substitute ½ teaspoon soda for the 4 teaspoons baking powder.

1 cup molasses.
½ cup boiling water.
1 cups fine bread crumbs.
cup flour.
1 teaspoon soda.
1 ½ teaspoons ginger.
½ teaspoon salt.
4 teaspoons melted lard, or other fat.

Add water to molasses and combine with the dry ingredients mixed together, then add butter and beat. Bake for about 25 minutes in a hot oven.


SometimesKate said...

Personally, I'd care more about wasting bread if commercial bread was made of better ingredients. At least here, any affordable bread is made from bleached flour and corn syrup for the most part. If it is "wheat" bread, they add caramel to dye it brown.

I know I keep sending you book references, so tell me if you'd like me to stop. Betty Smith's "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" mentions all the sorts of things that the protagonist, Francie's, mother Katie makes from stale bread. It really is interesting.

The Old Foodie said...

You make some good points about modern bread, Kate.Please dont stop sending book recommendations! I love them!