Your New Years resolution: out with the old and in with the new. The new year calls for a fresh you and a fresh kitchen. For a lot of us, that means purging an entire year’s worth of accumulated (and forgotten) goods in your pantry and freezer.
But this cleaning process can spark some serious emotions. Nothing is more frustrating than poking inside a bakery bag and having your finger rebound off the rock-solid crust of an old sour dough roll. Or opening the freezer to find Aunt Jan’s homemade cinnamon bagels have taken on the shriveled, icy resemblance of their baker (sorry, Janny).
At moments like this, we instinctually feel inclined to curse and send those once-spongey (but now dry and brittle) baked goods straight to the bottom of the trash. Because, as we all know, catharsis feels great, until reality sinks in. Wasted food, wasted time, wasted money equals a budget bust.
Those baked goods can be used to make something scrumptious. Here are five delish ways to revive stale and freezer-burned baked goods.
#SpoonTip: Defrost the bread/bagels if they are frozen (there are several methods for doing so) and then choose your method.
With casseroles, the opportunities are endless. You really can’t go wrong. So tear up your shriveled breading pieces, throw them in a baking dish, choose your sauce, a few mix-ins and pop it in the oven. Easy, re-furbished, delicious.
Great For: Any dried-out or stale breads.
Soaking the bread in a creamy egg batter will restore moisture while adding delicious flavor and sustainable protein. So much more satisfying than Wheaties for breakfast. Go for a basic French Toast recipe or spruce it up with unique flavors.
Great for: Sweet breads, sandwich breads and english muffins.
#SpoonTip: Sub in cranberry english muffins, cinnamon and allspice, orange zest, and a splash of orange juice.
Either way, your mother and your friends will be deceived by a fancy AF brunch. No need to confess the origin of your ingredients.
Let the bread and egg batter unite into a mouth watering, texturized breakfast of champions. Simply crumble the bread into your normal scrambled eggs recipe. For added impressiveness, experiment with meat and veggie mix-ins (or yesterday’s leftovers).
Great For: Crumbly cornbread, savory/wheaty breads, Texas toast.
Don’t know what kuchen is? Check out this recipe for a sweet education. If you’re feeling extra fancy, play with several layers of stale bread “crust,” cream, and fruit fillings.
Great For: Sweet breads, sourdough bread, naan, or anything else that has a cake-like crust.
#SpoonTip: The longer it sits, the more the “crust” will pick up flavors and moisture from the filling.
Just Drown It
The prestigious “drowning” method involves putting any kind of liquid sauce or syrup over the baked good in order to soften it and restore flavor.
I usually opt for a fruity salsa or a medium cooked egg (with an oozing yolk).
Great For: Everyone and everything. Got hard bread? Stale cheerios? Sunday’s pancakes? Any kind of baked good will do.
Maple syrup, eggnog, and leftover booze work just as well. So dive in, salvage those stale and freezer-burned baked goods, and resurrect them into a masterpiece of tasty wonder.
#SpoonTip: Freezer-burnt doesn’t mean the food is spoiled or unsafe to eat, it’s just a little dehydrated. Stale bread is also safe to eat. But if you see anything resembling dryer lint, AKA mold, please don’t butter my muffin.