Bread baking has emerged as the standout quarantine hobby, and for good reason. There’s something meditative about keeping watch over a sourdough starter, kneading dough, and putting a beige blob in the oven only for it to emerge a golden, crusty loaf. But by now, you might have run into a very particular problem. What are you going to do with all that bread?
Toast is always a standby, but when you’re tired of simple jam or butter, you need to think a bit more creatively—especially when the loaf is almost stale. So we turned to a few foodies to find out what they’re doing to make the most of this homemade-bread boom.
Make a Bread Sandwich
Yes, you read that right: The best thing to enjoy between two slices of bread might just be another slice of bread. Follow the lead of Apollonia Poilâne, the third-generation head baker and CEO of Poilâne, by placing a piece of thin bread, buttered and toasted, sandwiched between two buttered slices of untoasted bread.
Whip Up Some Bread Pudding
For chef Kia Damon, a loaf of stale bread is a perfect excuse to make bread pudding. She adds raisins and nuts to the mix, and drizzles some condensed milk over it when it’s done. “That way, you end up with a new dessert—or breakfast—for a few days,” she says.
Top It With Potatoes
Prefer to keep things savory? Here’s an easy way use up your dinner leftovers. Malou Bennes, head pastry chef at Ole & Steen, piles boiled potatoes, slathered with butter or mayonnaise, on sliced rye bread. To that she’ll add whatever she has a hand—like a mix of chopped parsley, pan-fried crispy onions, radishes, chopped chives, onions, or tomatoes for color. “And always top it off with a sprinkle of sea salt,” she says.
Use Up Your Sourdough Starter Discards
You couldn’t get your hands on any dough, so you’ve hopped on the sourdough bandwagon—welcome to the club. You’ve likely realized that maintaining your sourdough requires throwing away flour every week. But this discard can actually be pretty useful. Pastry chef Caroline Schiff recommends using it to make a scallion pancake: Just add some neutral oil to a hot skillet; pour in a cup of sourdough discard; and sprinkle on a bit of salt, sliced scallions, and sesame seeds. Let the bottom firm up and flip it like you would a normal pancake, then enjoy it with soy sauce.
Cook a Hearty Breakfast
What do you do when you’re tired of simply topping your toast with a fried egg? “My grandfather was in the Navy, and he used to make pan-seared toast with a fried egg in the middle for special occasions,” says Nikki Krecicki, founder of Provisions. “It’s called a one-eyed sailor.” Serve it with bacon, sausage, or avocado.
Assemble an Open-Face Sandwich
Consider smørrebrød (pictured above) as your new favorite work-from-home lunch. Sourdough savant Maurizio Leo makes it with a whole grain rye sourdough. Top it with sour cream (chive-flavored if you have it), smoked salmon, radishes, boiled asparagus, scallions, parsley, dill, and pickles.
Stand By Your Old Favorites
In stressful times, there’s no comfort quite like returning to the foods you loved as a child. That’s why Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking is using her loaves to make French onion grilled cheese (a recipe from her new cookbook) and, of course, some avocado toast.
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