Uses for Stale Bread and Etceteras for Soups

Inspired by a trip to the Imperial War Museum yesterday to see the Ministry of Food exhibition, I thought I would share two extracts from Florence Greenberg’s Jewish Cookery Book, (6th Edition, 1958). This book was first published in 1947 when rationing was still in effect and even more restrictively so, than during the war itself.

In the age of freezers, it’s far easier not to waste bread, but there are some new ideas here for things to do with breadcrumbs, just in case you were feeling uninspired.

Uses for Stale Bread

There is no need to waste a single crust of stale bread for there are endless ways in which it can be usd.  An uncut stale loaf can be freshened by just heating through in a moderate oven

Left-over sandwiches.

  1. Toast on both side and spread with butter or margarine
  2. Dip in frying batter and fry a golden brown in hot fat
  3. If the sandwiches have a meat filling, put the entire sandwich through the mincer, and use in rissoles or a meat loaf
  4. Fish sandwiches can be fried and served with a cheese sauce

Place any crusts and odd scraps of bread on a tin in a moderate oven, and dry slowly to a crisp. Then either crush till quite fine with a rolling pin, or put through the mincing machine, using a fine cutter. Store in an air-tight container and use for crumbing cutlets, rissoles, fish, etc., or to sprinkle on top of vegetable or fish pies.

Soaked bread
The stalest bread, including crust can be used for puddings, etc,. if properly prepared. Break up bread into small pieces, put into bowl, cover completely with cold water, and soak until soft. If the bread is to be used for a savoury, then soak in vegetable water. When soft, drain off water andsqueeze bread until very dry.

Put back in bowl and beat with a fork till it is quite free from lumps and pieces of crust and the mixture is smooth and creamy. Beat thoroughly and the result will be a smooth, spongy texture instead of a dull, heavy pudding.

Recipes for puddings, savoury stuffings, meat dishes, etc., containing stale bread will be found in the various sections through the book.

Etceteras for Soups

Bread Balls
Two thick slices of stale bread
Chopped onion – 1 tablespoon
Dripping or chicken fat – 1 tablespoon
One egg
Chopped parsley – 2 tablespoons
Grated lemon rind
Mixed herbs – optional
Salt and pepper

Soak the slices of bread in cold water, then drain and squeeze very dry ad beat up with a fork. Fry the onion a golden brown in the fat, then add the soaked bread, together with the parsley, grated rind of half a lemon, and, if liked, a pinch of mixed herbs. Season with salt and pepper, add the beaten egg and sufficient breadcrumbs to absorb any moisture. Roll into tiny balls, drop into boiling soup, and simmer 15 – 20 minutes.

Cut stale bread into dice, fry a golden brown in a little very hot fat. Drain and serve with thick soups.

Cheese croutes
Cut a stale roll or the end of a French loaf into very thin slices. Or cut slices from an ordinary load and cut into rounds with a biscuit cutter. (The leftover pieces can be dried for crumbs or used in pudding.)

Bake these in a slow oven till quite crisp and lightly tinted, then cover with grated cheese and brown under the grill. These are particularly good in onion soup.

Crisped Bread

  1. Cut stale bread wafer thin and bake till crisp and brown in a moderate oven.
  2. Cut stale bread into slice a third of an inch thick, then into third of an inch sticks. Bake until crisp and brown. Or the bread can be cut into tiny dice.

Crisped bread keeps well if stored in a tin with a closely fitting lid.

Rasped by Elly


4 responses to “Uses for Stale Bread and Etceteras for Soups

  1. I love the ideas of managing the left-over sandwiches. It’s really wonderful, I can’t wait to try it.

  2. Oh my, I can’t wait to have stale bread in the house again. Some of this sounds amazing…and some of it sounds borderline insane. Fried fish sarnies with cheese sauce? Eeek…

  3. Bread balls recipe = stuffing recipe (for poultry etc) though used as dumplings here. Versatile.

  4. can you help im looking for the rest of the chicken casserole with dumplings from alison burts super saving cards my mum used to make it