Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

is...more sliced bread!

What goes best with sliced bread? or to tweak a classic...

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf Slice of Bread--and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness--
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

(apologies to Omar Khayyam)

I've been having fun making some handmade breads -- fun, because finally some of them are turning out to be edible, ha :)

I'm finding homemade bread is not only fun, but is delicious beyond store-bought, by far. Not only does each recipe render a distinct end product, but so do different batches of the same recipe, depending on things such as humidity, temperature, elevation, kneading time, differentiations of measurement..and probably mood (heh heh). But one thing they all have in common...if they turn out to be edible, they're superior to anything mass-produced.

I made a batch of whole wheat bread recently, and have been surprised during the past couple of days how much having such a filling and nutritious loaf extended my cooking possibilities. Homemade bread very well could be the at-home version of fast food. Here are some of the things that can be put together quickly from a thick, good, piece of bread:

1. Buttered Toast
2. Toast with honey or jam
3. French toast
4. Garlic Bread
5. Grilled Cheese Sandwich
6. Open-faced melted cheese sandwich
7. Sandwich with fillings
8. Sliced "wheels"...roll slice flat, spread with tuna salad, or egg salad, or cream cheese and smoked salmon, roll up, and slice into "wheel slices"
9. Brushed with olive oil, toasted, "scrubbed" with a fresh tomato slice and roasted garlic
10. Mock pizza...tad of pizza sauce, bit of shredded cheese, favorite toppings
11. Olive squares...toast with favorite shredded cheese topped with deli olives (your choice) split in half (seeded), cut (after toasting) into quarters.
12. Cinnamon toast
13. Bread pudding
14. Cubed, when dry or stale, and tossed with oil or butter and spices and toasted for croutons
15. Crumbed into breadcrumbs for addition to meatloaf, stuffing, or other dishes.
16. Torn or cubed into a breakfast casserole bake
17. "Toad in the hole" egg-cooked-in-a-bread-slice breakfast serving
18. Topped with a fried egg, S&P and dash of hot sauce for hot breakfast
19. Toasted, cut into toast points, and allowed to sit out a full day to "dry out" further, for use as a dried bread chip for dipping in hot artichoke dip, hot cheese dip, or cold fish or chicken salads.
20. Don't forget the good ol' PB&J!
21. Cream cheese on hot toast, with fruit, or tomato and onion and capers, or smoked salmon
22. Toast, hot, with hot creamed chicken or creamed chipped beef
23. Toasted, served openfaced with favorite Reuben sauce, kraut, thinly sliced meat of choice
24. Brushed with olive oil, briefly grilled, topped with grilled veggies

With so many uses, bread's definately on the Frugality list. With the improved taste of homemade, the list shows more promise of steady use...What's on your bread?


Spider Lady said...

For me I can eat homemade bread plain, esp. if it's warm out of the oven. Homemade bread does not last long in this house!

Brenda Kula said...

When my children were still home I used to make up a batch of thick wheat bread. Two at a time. Don't do it anymore because of so much arthritis in my hands due to surgeries. But I can still recall, years later, the smell of them baking in my oven.

Robbyn said...

Spider Lady, I'm with ya! I like it with a touch of real butter melting...gah, I'm gaining weight just thinking about it ;-)

Brenda, your children were really fortunate! Yes, that smell is right up there with the smell of brewing coffee to me, mmmm!

JoyceAnn said...

Robbyn , Wonderful post about homemade bread , great meals that we sometimes overlook.
I plan to start making homemade bread soon , maybe once the garden and canning are finished.
Thanks for sharing this list.

~ Hope your day is Blessed ~

Carolyn said...

I love to make bread to. But it is an art form.

Thanks for all the ideas for uses. I tend to make a bunch of bread and then can't eat it before it goes bad.