Learning to bake sourdough bread is a challenge that a lot of us have taken on during this, now 6+ months long quarantine. So far I have baked sourdough bread with a 60% success rate. How about you? Have you baked any loaves that did not make the cut? Or like me, you got carried away in the excitement and now have too much bread that you wonder how to finish. Fail, stale, or surplus, you do not want any of your loaves ending up in the trash. I have faced all these three scenarios and that is why I whipped up these three stale bread recipes that will allow you to continue to hone your bread baking skills, guilt-free. With these ideas, you can repurpose and turn any slice into a masterpiece.
How My Sourdough Bread Fail
Making sourdough bread is an experience. Creating something beautiful, rustic, and unique starting with just flour, water, and heat has its own charm. It’s simple but not easy, it’s approachable but it’s not low hanging. Baking bread does have a bit of a learning curve.
I had an amazing beginner’s luck and the first-ever loaf I had made, turned out to be amazing. Since then, I have not been able to reach the same level. I have managed to mess up in some creative ways every time. For instance, last month at 11 PM on a Sat night, I was about to slide one in the oven and pushed the pizza peel a bit too hard. That feeling when you see a ball of proofed dough, that you have worked on for the last 12 hours, slide, then slide a bit more, not stop in the middle of your baking steel and hit the oven back wall, is hard to explain. In all the panic I forgot to add enough water in the steam tray and ended up with two bricks. I hate to waste food and try to keep it to a minimum. Quite bummed with this fiasco, I turned to my Instagram and posted a story, asking for ideas. Thanks to all the responses and ideas.
Over the next few days, I made these three recipes and was so proud that not a crumb saw the trash. Except for the few that were on the floor, come on now!
I am sure I am not the only one going through this learning phase and honestly, having a plan B has taken a bit of the edge off.
Three Recipes to Repurpose Stale or Over Baked Bread
- Vegan Eggplant Parmesan: Break the loaf into pieces and dry them for a couple of days. When dry, grind it in a blender to make sourdough bread crumbs. Use the crumbs in the dry eggplant breading mix with salt, pepper, nutritional yeast, oregano, dried basil, and garlic powder. Bake at 425 deg F for 30-35 mins. You can expect the most crispy and flavorful eggplant parm with the recipe from VeganRicha’s blog. If you like a more traditional recipe checkout StefaniasKitchenette’s blog and I plan to give it a try as well.
- French Toast: I almost never eat french toast. Nothing against it but I am just not a sweet cinnamony breakfast kind of guy. These were desperate times so I rose to the occasion. Make a thin mix of milk, egg, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg powder. It is important that you use more milk than usual because you need to hydrate the bread. Long soak the slice(it may feel impossible to slice but trust me, it is doable) of brick bread for roughly 15-30 mins, to let it absorb the milk and egg mixture and become soft. Cook these on a skillet 3 mins each side for some tasty french toast. You can coarsely chop this the bread before soaking and bake it in the oven for some bread pudding as well.
- Malai Kofta: Take a medium-size potato, boil, and mash. Mix in ~200gms of homemade paneer, chopped green chilies, salt, pepper, and garam masala. Add the sourdough bread crumbs or alternatively, take 2 slices of stale sourdough bread and soak them in water. I took this trick from my mom’s bread rolls. I save that for a post for another day. Mix and mash all of it and make balls a tad smaller than golf balls. Bake at 400F for 30-40mins or deep fry.
My goal with this post is to give you ideas for what to do when your Sourdough experiments fail. You can use these ideas and apply them to any bread. If you try any of these recipes/techniques, I would like to see how your dishes turn out. If you are looking for any help in making these dishes or discuss any ideas to revive other leftovers in general, feel free to reach out to me. You can comment here or DM me on Instagram. If you give this recipe a try, share your pictures with me on Instagram @t_as_in_tarun or use #acrosskitchenlines. If you have a recipe you want to cook with me, count me in! Please send me a message or leave a comment.