Cheap Geek likes his sliced bread but he and I rarely finish our loaves before the use-by date. We could buy smaller loaves, but they cost nearly as much as the regular-sized ones, so we end up buying the big loaves ‘just in case’ and throwing half of it away. It’s a prime example of how much good food goes to waste in our society. According to Food Wise, ‘Australians discard up to 20% of the food they purchase’ or $1036 in an average household, money that could have been better spent on six months worth of electricity bills.
In order to stretch the grocery dollars and salvage bread destined for the bin*, I’ve taught myself how to convert stale bread into breadcrumbs. Whenever the oven is cooling down from a spate of baking, I pop the slices of bread on the rack and dry them out. If the oven hasn’t been used, I’ll slip the slices into a toaster. The bread then gets pulverised in the food processor or chopped by hand. Once the bread crumbs are completely cool, they get stored in the freezer in a snaplock bag or an airtight container. Once frozen, they should keep for a few months; use your nose and your tastebuds to assess if they’re okay for cooking.
No need to defrost your crumbs. Just add them, frozen, to your pasta bakes, meatball mix, or stuffing or use them to coat your meat, fish, and veg.
*While most stale bread is salvageable, do not try to reuse mouldy bread.