Friday, 5 November 2010

How To Never Throw Bread Away (Hardly)

A good housewife/person will never throw away bread, it's just not done. There's so much you can do with stale bread. The Italians make a lovely salad with it, but you need a decent sour dough type of bread for that. Here in England we tend to make breadcrumbs out of our stale bread and use it for either savoury stuffings, or best of all Treacle Tart. Of course, sometimes the bread gets away. You open the bread bin and there's a big green hairy monster trying to get out. There's nothing to do with mouldy bread but compost.

But most times, you don't have to be Superwife to notice that although  the bread's too stale to make a sandwich  you can still whizz it up into crumbs and store in the freezer in plastic bags ready for use. And with Christmas only seven weeks away, you'll be needing plenty for all that lovely stuffing you'll be making for the turkey.

My freezer tends to be full of plastic bags containing all manner of odd looking things. I don't have many bought items in there, so it looks to the innocent browser like a large collection of Bits in Bags.  Which is what it is.
This is not because I am Superwife, it's because I think my food is better than Tesco's (not saying much) and I find that having a supply of basics in the freezer makes it much easier to produce good things than if you have to start from absolute scratch, making breadcrumbs, and then making the pastry, you tend not to bother, whereas if you already have the pastry case in the freezer and a bag of breadcrumbs, the Treacle Tart, for example very nearly makes itself. So I never throw away pastry either, but use what's left from what I'm making to line a tart tin and stash in the freezer for another day.


Treacle Tart adapted from Rosemary Moon's recipe
1 8 inch/20cm flan tin lined with shortcrust  pastry
3 oz/75gr white breadcrumbs, fresh or frozen. You need reasonably soft breadcrumbs for this, save the dry ones for stuffings
12oz/350gr golden syrup
2oz/50gr ground almonds
grated zest and juice of half a lemon
quarter pint/150ml double cream
1 egg beaten

If you use a solid metal flan tin you don't need to pre bake. But you can if you prefer. Mix the filling ingredients together and pour into the case. Bake in a medium oven for about 30 minutes, covering with foil if it starts to get too brown.
Serve just warm, with clotted cream.

I always used to make treacle tart with just golden syrup, breadcrumbs, and lemon in the traditional way until I discovered Rosemary Moon's more exuberant version, since when I, and my bathroom scales, have never looked back...

7 comments:

  1. I always enjoy your posts but this one has me bumfuzzled. I have never seen double cream in the store, clotted means what exactly? Golden syrup - would that be like the darker corn syrup or something else? Oh well, we don't eat white bread anyway..... suppose it tastes funny with wheat, Huh?

    Hard to believe we both speak English, isn't it? LOL!

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  2. Hi Sharon, I think what we call double cream is called heavy cream over there, you would probably have to use whipped cream to replace clotted cream and I'm afraid corn syrup isn't generally available here so I can't advise you. Brown or wholewheat breadcrumbs work fine though.

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  3. with Bruce the Horse and 2 greedy chickens, our stale bread never gets as far as being re-worked...such a shame cos treacle tart is my alltime favourite!
    xx

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  4. Because we do not eat a lot of bread, sandwiches for Nigel's lunch is about it, we keep our bread, pre-sliced in the freezer anyway. No losses there. Diane

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  5. We've got a menagerie of animals all wanting the remains of the bread, so mine doesn't ever get wasted either. But Treacle Tart. My favourite! And good idea about freezing bit of left over pastry and will do just that once I have room in my brim-full freezer.

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  6. Yummy, thanks for another recipe to try

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  7. Thanks for this good advice. I remember those good breadcrumb dishes with vanilla custard from when I lived in London, a long, long time ago. We tend to waste too much over here.--Inger

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