There are two types of bread in this world. There is the sort that gets stale. And then there’s the sort that goes mouldy.
You can do a lot of things with stale bread. In fact it’s something to be desired, as any devotee of bread and butter pudding will tell you. Or you can make croutons, bread sauce, a garlicky skordalia to have with vegie sticks or crackers and that’s all before you make breadcrumbs.
Or you can chuck the mouldy bread in the bin. Once it’s mouldy not even composting worms can eat it.
If you want to really get the best value out of your limited food dollar, re-think buying a horrible thin-sliced soft crust white loaf for 85c. Even if you don’t want to make your own bread (for the same cost) do try to invest in a loaf that will reward you when you use the off-cuts and crusts.
You could start here, with this quick and easy savoury bread pudding, and use up a few other leftovers in the process. Once you try this, you will find it easy to adapt the basics with whatever you’ve got.
I’ve made this for just two serves, but it’s very easy to double it for larger families – or larger appetites.
- 3 thick slices day-old bread (approx 100g), cut into large cubes
- 2 rashers bacon, rinds removed and chopped into small dice
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 3 eggs
- 375ml (1½ cups) milk
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 cup grated tasty cheese
Pre-heat oven to 170° (fan-forced). Place the bread cubes in a large bowl.
In a fry-pan over medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil, then add the bacon and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and butter and cook for 1 minute more until the butter is bubbling and the garlic is fragrant, then remove from heat. Add the bacon mixture, including the cooking fat, to the bread cubes and mix to combine.
In a small jug or bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and pepper and mustard and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture over the bread and mix to combine. Add half the cheese and mix to combine, then place the mixture in a 1.5L casserole dish. Scatter the remaining tasty cheese over the top.
Place the casserole dish into a roasting dish. Boil the kettle and pour the boiling water into the roasting dish until water comes half way up the sides of the dish. Bake for 50 minutes or until the egg mixture sets. If the cheese browns too quickly, cover the top of the dish with a piece of foil.
Allow the pudding to cool for a few minutes in the dish before slicing into wedges. Serve warm (if it is too hot it will scald your mouth and won’t cut as easily) with a green salad on the side.
$5.50 for 2-3 people
With thanks to the kind people at Pyrex and World Kitchen for the lovely 100th Anniversary limited edition casserole dish, available at Big W, Harris Scarfe, Myer, David Jones and selected retailers.