Live Happily Ever After – How to Use a Loaf of Bread

how to use a loaf of bread

The Final Post in the Baking as a Relationship Series

There are more than one way to use a loaf of bread. At this point, you are probably wondering what to do with all those delicious loaves you have baked. The freezer is full, and your friends and relatives are probably reluctant to open their door to you – kind of like when the zucchini harvest is in full swing.

Your next goal is to find creative ways to use up what you have baked so you can get started on the next loaves. But exactly what do you do? Easy! Just try a few of these ideas. And once you do, you may be searching for yet another new recipe to create your own version of these delicious recipes!

Optional Ideas to Use a Loaf of Bread

use a loaf of bread to make french toast

French Toast

One of the most familiar ways to use a loaf of bread is to cut into slices and make French toast. This is also one of the simplest recipes to make.

Ingredients

  • 4 Eggs
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons Milk
  • A Light Sprinkle of Cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

Break the eggs into a shallow bowl or pan – I use a pie pan. Add the milk and cinnamon, and stir together with a fork.

Melt approximately 1 Tablespoon of butter in a skillet over low to medium heat. Place a slice of bread in the egg mixture, turning to coat both sides. Place the bread slice in the skillet, and cook for 2 to five minutes, until brown. Flip with a spatula, and repeat on the second side.

Transfer the cooked slices to a warm plate. Serve with butter, a sprinkling of powdered sugar and syrup to taste.

With French toast, you don’t have to stick with a loaf of white bread. It can be made with just about any bread you like – white, wheat, cinnamon raisin, French, or any other bread you think would taste good!

Use a Loaf of Bread for Croutons

The Country Boy loves homemade French bread. But we often have a loaf or two left over. To keep from losing it to the Mold Monster, we use a loaf of bread that is a day or two old to make homemade croutons.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf Day-old Bread (if you do not bake your own bread, consider a loaf purchased at a bakery.  A French Baguette or an Italian loaf works well. The heartier the bread, the better the crouton!)
  • 1/2 to 1 Stick Butter, melted (the amount depends on how many cubes you have)
  • Seasonings of Choice:
    • Garlic Salt or Garlic Powder
    • Parmesan Cheese
    • Italian Seasonings
    • Parsley
    • Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning (go light on this one!)
    • Black Pepper
    • Your favorite

Directions:

Bread that is one day old works best for croutons. It has an opportunity to dry out a bit, and therefore will hold together better.

Cut the bread into 1/2″ to 1” cubes. You may opt to remove the crusts, or leave them on. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the melted butter and seasonings until well blended. Pour over the bread cubes and toss, making sure all of them are lightly covered, but not saturated.

Line a cookie sheet with wax paper and spread the cubes on the paper, being sure to keep a little space between them. This make take a couple of cookie sheets, or making them in batches.

Place them in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Allow to bake until lightly browned and crispy, stirring occasionally. This takes approximately 10 to 20 minutes.  

Allow to cool, and then serve!

use a loaf of bread to make bread crumbs

Another Great Way to Use Fresh Bread

For this one, you can easily use a loaf of bread and transform it into an ingredient commonly used in other recipes – Bread Crumbs!

When you use a loaf of bread you have baked for crumbs, the flavor is so much better than a purchased package.

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf Day-old Bread (if you do not bake your own bread, consider a loaf purchased at a bakery.  A French Baguette or an Italian loaf works well.)
  • Seasonings of Choice:
    • Garlic Salt or Garlic Powder
    • Italian Seasonings
    • Parsley
    • Tony’s (go light on this one!)
    • Black Pepper
    • Your favorite

Directions:

Bread that is one or two days old, and beginning to dry out works best for bread crumbs. Cut the bread into small chunks. Don’t worry about removing the crusts – they will crumble just as well as the bread! I usually cut my chunks, then leave them in a bowl covered with a clean dishtowel overnight, to help speed the drying process.

Using the blade in a food processor, add a few chunks at a time and pulse until the bread becomes small crumbs. Pour your crumbs into a bowl and continue until all the bread is pulverized.

Add any seasonings you desire – or none at all, if you prefer plain crumbs. Keep in mind, just a pinch or two of any seasoning will work. Usually you don’t need more than approximately 1/8 teaspoon or less to two cups of crumbs, depending on the amount you are making. Add a small amount, then do a taste test. Adjust as necessary.

Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Pour crumbs on the paper and spread them out into a thin layer. Place them in an oven preheated to 300 degrees. Allow them to finish drying until they are lightly browned. This usually doesn’t take more than 15 minutes. Just keep an eye on them. You want them dry, not burned. Remove from oven and cool completely.

Store them in a glass canning jar. To keep them fresh, store them in the freezer until ready to use.

bread pudding

And the Crowning Joy of Bread

To us here in the south, there is no better way to use a loaf of bread than to transform it into the simplest and sweetest of desserts. It has long since been a tradition of frugal folks to use up bread that is losing its freshness and turning it into a sweet treat.

With few ingredients other than the loaf of bread, it can be served plain, or with any number of sauces – Rum, Whiskey, Bourbon, Lemon, Vanilla, or our favorite – Caramel.

Got extra? Use a loaf of bread to create dessert for tonight. This is another recipe that can start with a white or sweet bread. I don’t recommend you use a loaf of bread that has a savory flavor, such as rye, or cheese breads, as these contrast too much with the intended sweetness of the recipe.

Bread Pudding

  • 1 loaf French Bread, cut into 1” cubes – approximately 6 cups
  • 1 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1-1/2 cups Half & Half
  • 1/4 cups Sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 1 stick Butter, melted
  • 1 cup chopped Pecans (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 9”x 9” casserole dish. Place bread crumbs in the dish. In a large bowl, mix together the cream, Half & Half,sugar, spices and butter, until well blended. Slowly pour the custard over the bread, pressing the bread down with the back of a spoon occasionally, allowing it to soak up as much of the custard as possible.

Bake for 1 hour, or until a cake tester or knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Caramel Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 stick Butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, add the sugars, Half & Half and the butter. Whisk to blend until the butter melts. Cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens somewhat. Remove from heat and add the Vanilla. Stir to blend. Allow to cool slightly before spooning over the bread pudding.

Think Outside the Box

These few ideas are just the tip of the iceberg.When you bake, consider the many was to use a loaf of bread. Learn to think outside the box, and you may just create your own delicious recipes to use a loaf of bread that just came out of your oven.

I hope you enjoyed the Baking as a Relationship, and have tried your hand at making the included recipes, as well as many more.

But just because this is the end of the series doesn’t mean we can put our bread supplies away. It’s time to spread your wings and dig deeper into baking bread.

When exploring the different ideas you have, it is always a good idea to keep notes. This way, you know what you did, and how you need to approach it differently to create the absolute best flavor in your bread. And then jot down ideas on how you can use a loaf of bread in a different way.

Want some help?

To keep your bread baking momentum going, I have created the Baking Bread as a Relationship eBook. In this eBook, you will find some of the information and tips you have read throughout this series; an equipment checklist to help you keep track of the things you already have on hand and the ones you still need to purchase; all of the recipes – and a few more! – included in these posts; a Note page to help you keep track of your progress and ideas; and a bit of Lagniappe to top it off.

This eBook is a steal at $5.99. Just download it today, and get started on your own relationship with baking bread. It may very well end up being one of the best loves of your life yet!

Be sure you haven’t missed any of the posts in the Baking as a Relationship Series!

Baking as a Relationship – Join the Party

Baking as a Relationship – The Meet & Greet

Baking as a Relationship – The First Date

Baking as a Relationship – The Second Date

Baking as a Relationship – The First Six Months

Baking as a Relationship – Saying ‘I Do’

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.