Sunday, 20 September 2009

Homemade crostini

One of the economies that gives me most satisfaction is my homemade crostini bases. They're one of those things that are invariably overpriced in smart delis - you can pay £3 plus for a pack.

If you bake them yourself you can make them for about 80p. You just need a stale(ish) ciabatta or similar shaped long loaf - I tend to pick up mine reduced in the supermarket. Slice thinly and place on a couple of baking sheets that you've drizzled with olive oil, moving them around so they get evenly smeared with oil then drizzle a little more oil on the other side and bake in a medium hot oven for about 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden - or a cooler one for a little longer. I'm lucky to be able to shove mine in the AGA but to save fuel just cook them when you have the oven on for something else.

Once they're cooled keep them in an airtight tin - they'll happily keep for a week or so. And you can spread them with any kind of dip or paté for a snack, nibble with drinks or an easy first course.

What's your favourite way of salvaging stale bread?


Roving Lemon said...

Yes! Repurposing old bread is one of my favorite ways of feeling frugal. Crostini, croutons, bread crumbs, bread pudding, french toast--I could keep going, there are so many ways to use it up!

The Vicar's Wife said...

I like to blitz it to crumbs in the food processor, which I bag and freeze and then use to make stuffing for the Sunday roast.

The Vicar's Wife said...

Bad grammar just then. I bag freeze and make stuffing with the crumbs, not the food processor!

local lass said...

I use an oil sprayer for making crostini(a refillable one, much cheaper in the long run and you can choose what oil you use) so I'm frugal with the oil as well - more, I must admit, for reasons of waistline than frugality.
Then there's panzanella.
If all other inspiration fails, the birds are always grateful.

James said...

What? You can buy these ready made? Madness.

I freeze my bread as soon as I make it, so I just defrost as much as I need at a time. You can toast from frozen, or defrost for a sandwich in 10 mins. If I do have bread at home which has started to go hard I flash it in the microwave on medium - this softens it enough to eat it - the effect only lasts 20 minutes or so, so eat quickly!

Angie said...

What stale bread? If I had any it would be 'bread & butter pudding'.

James said...

Oh and Queen of puddings too - who could forget that?

Fiona Beckett said...

Some great comments and suggestions all - and from my friends on Twitter on 'repurposing' stale bread (love that expression Roving Lemon!)

So far I'd say the most popular choices were
Bread and butter pudding, bread pudding and

Good suggestion about spraying the crostini local less - I've done that in the past too, just don't currently have a spray

And had forgotten about the microwave James. I don't currently have one but always found it made the bread a bit soggy. Probably I cooked it for too long . . . But I'm with you 100% on Queen of Puddings. One of the best puddings in the world.

Unknown said...

I let bread go completely stale and they get crushed to make breadcrumbs. I either use them mixed with cheese to top a pasta and tomato dish before baking. Or I make the staple bread pudding with plenty of sultanas.

I have in the past made bread sauce, bread and butter pudding (both sweet and savoury) or used them as part of a stuffing mixture for rolled breast of lamb.

Fiona Beckett said...

Ooo, bread sauce. That's got to be high up among the best uses. I only really make it at Christmas but deserves to be made more frequently