Italian Panzanella

If you like bread, don’t feel limited by just using it for sandwiches and toast. There are so many recipes you can make with bread that you can eat it every meal of the day. Here are four ways you can enjoy bread that you may have missed, including ways to use stale bread or bread that is less than fresh enough for sandwiches but still edible.

Bread to Replace Store-Bought Items

Most people head to the grocery store for commercial bread-based items, like breadcrumbs, stuffing, croutons and pizza, when you could make your own for considerably less, with better quality control. Making your own breadcrumbs or stuffing is another ideal way to use up those last few slices of bread. Simply pulse the bread for a moment in a food processor or blender until it is the size and consistency you like for breading or stuffing. Then, add herbs and seasoning to taste.

For homemade croutons, use a baking sheet to toast cubes of bread brushed with olive oil, herbs, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Watch them carefully as they’ll brown quickly in a hot oven.

Why buy expensive pizza when you can custom make your own? Simply buy a flatbread or focaccia bread to top with your favorite combinations of sauce, cheese and toppings.

Bread Salad

If you’ve ever been left with half a loaf of crusty bread that seems too crisp after a few days to eat, why not try panzanella, or bread salad? A popular Mediterranean dish, panzanella is made by combining salad ingredients with chunks of leftover crusty bread. The oil and vinegar dressing gets soaked up by the bread, softening it and giving it extra flavor. Some ingredients you can try in panzanella include:

  • fresh tomatoes
  • roasted tomatoes
  • red onions
  • cucumbers
  • basil
  • olives
  • spinach
  • mixed greens
  • marinated asparagus
  • artichoke hearts
  • feta cheese
  • fresh mozzarella cheese

Roasted winter root vegetables and parmesan cheese also make a great panzanella base. Look for panzanella recipes online, and you’re sure to find tons of recipes that let you use whatever is in your fridge and breadbox.

Bread Desert

Another wonderful way to use up Klosterman Baking Company bread is to make bread pudding. Simply combine cubes of bread with milk, sugar and eggs, plus whatever ingredients you want to give it your own twist. Common additions include:

  • raisins
  • currants
  • blueberries
  • cranberries
  • dried fruits
  • nuts
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg
  • maple syrup
  • orange zest

You can create all kinds of easy sauces to make your bread pudding more dessert-y, like caramel or bourbon sauce, or just top it with a dollop of whipped cream. Because it’s full of eggs and milk, bread pudding is a fabulous easy dinner for little ones when they want something sweet, while you want them to have something nutritious. You can even make it in a slow cooker in the morning, for a hot, delicious dish at night.

Bread as Main Course

If you like the ease of bread pudding as a main course, think about using bread as a base for other casserole-type dishes where you might otherwise use rice, pasta or potatoes. Pull-apart bread loaded with ingredients makes a quick dinner, and it’s a perennial favorite with kids.

Brush a loaf pan with oil, then fill it with vertical layers of bread dough alternating with your ingredients. For a yummy dinner, try barbecue or Buffalo chicken, shredded cheese and scallions. Bake it until the top browns and it’s a tiny bit crispy around the edges, and it will go so fast, you’ll wish you had two!

If you’re concerned about the health aspects of bread, which has gotten kind of a bad rap lately, remember that bread is still a staple in virtually every culture in the world. Use these recipes to spice up your meals!