The average UK resident buys an average of 44 loaves of bread every year! That equates to around 35 pounds in weight. Unfortunately, bread is also one of the most commonly wasted food types. It is estimated that we throw away around 900000 tonnes of bread annually (*according to www.togoodtogo.co.uk).
What can we do to minimise bread wastage? Here are a few ideas:
*If a loaf of bread is reaching the end of its shelf-life, place the remaining slices into your freezer, in a freezer bag. These can be defrosted on demand, extremely easily, in a toaster, in under a minute. That way you always have some bread handy for that emergency sandwich or meal.
*Replace your normal snacks with bread. Instead of eating a packet of crisps, ladened with fats and salts, have a cheese sandwich. Instead of that bar of chocolate, have a slice of bread with chocolate spread e.t.c. Bread makes for a satisfying snack as it is high in carbohydrates and is filling.
*Do not store your loaf in the fridge. Contrary to popular belief, this actually accelerates the rate of decay in bread as it extracts moisture from the loaf, making it turn stale faster.
*Keep your bread in its original bag. Bread is sold in bags for a reason; it helps keep moisture in! This is the same for the brown paper bags often supplied with loaves.
*Make breadcrumbs. Place the slices of bread on a baking tray and cook at gas mark 4 for 30 mins or until bone-dry. Once cool, crush them up and place them in an airtight container such as Tupperware, a Kilner jar or similar. These will have a shelf-life of at least three months.
*If your loaf is nearly stale, you can refresh it slightly by sprinkling with water and reheating them in the oven for around 5 minutes on gas mark 6.
*Bread soup is a thing. Tuscan bread soup is a healthy meal and is traditioanally made with stale bread (in fact, it requires stale bread for authenticity and flavour).
The Bushgear Team
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Chmee2, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons