Amazing recipes of dishes made from the first and last slices of bread

Jul 07, 2013, 05:29 IST | Sonal Ved

Why bin the first and last slice of bread from the packet, when you can turn it into a plated wonder? Sonal Ved speaks to four chefs and digs out their secret recipes

At home, more often than not, the first and last slice is kept aside for the crows, cows and stray dogs of the vicinity, or ends up in the bin. But the thick slices of baked flour can come tremendously handy, if you know what to do with them. While turning them into breadcrumbs and using them to coat patties or stuff meats are obvious suspects, Kiran Salaskar from Country of Origin bakery, says, “A perfect bread pudding is the one that sets well. With fresh bread, it is difficult to obtain a dense texture, as it can get too soggy on application of butter and milk.” On the other hand, a dry or thick piece of bread sets well and withholds the process of baking without breaking down too easily.

Recipe by Kiran Salaskar from Country of Origin bakery. Pic/Suresh KK

Same can be said for other desserts such as walnut and banana loaf and shahi tukra that make good use of the ‘left over’ bread slices. Says homemaker Alka Shah from Vile Parle, “Since these slices generally have no takers because of their thick texture, I often churn them into soups or toast and crumble it to make muesli. A good whole wheat loaf is rich in fibre and can add a nutritious punch to your dish.”

These thick slices hold the dish together. According to gourmet caterer and restaurant consultant Nidhi Behl from Toute de Suite, “Thick and dry bread absorbs excessive moisture out of meats and veggies and fries well too. This comes in handy while making dishes such as meat balls since too much moisture can ruin the texture of the meat-based dish.”  Keeping these advantages in mind, we asked a few kitchen enthusiasts to whip up their favourite dish using the forbidden slice. Here is what they came up with.

Whole-wheat chocolate bread-butter pudding
* 8 bread slices
* 2 tbsp butter
* 2 cups milk
* 200 gm chocolate
* 2 eggs
* ½ cup sugar
* ½ tsp vanilla extract
* 1 tbsp sugar

Ingredients for the sauce:
* ½ cup granulated sugar
* ½ cup butter
* 100 gm chocolate
* 1 egg, beaten
* 2 tsp vanilla extract

* Toast the bread until crispy and break it roughly into one-inch pieces. Scatter them on a greased baking tray and leave aside
* In a pan, heat milk, chocolate, butter and simmer them over low heat. Stir occasionally and cook the mixture for five to seven minutes until all the ingredients
blend well
* In another bowl, mix egg with sugar and vanilla extract and whisk-in the warm milk mixture. Pour this on the bread pieces and bake at 350 degree Celsius for
25 minutes
* Meanwhile, mix sugar, butter, egg, chocolate and vanilla extract in a saucepan for the sauce. Stir over medium flame and remove from fire once the sauce thickens. Serve hot with

Bread bechamel sauce and crispy fish fillet

Recipe by gourmet caterer Shweta Menon Kanuga from Pllatterati. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

* 2 bread slices
* 7-8 fish fillet
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 tbsp refined flour
* 1 tsp English mustard
* ½ cup potato, grated
* Salt and pepper to taste
* Oil for frying
* 1 large onion, halved
* 3 whole cloves
* 1 bay leaf
* 250 ml milk
* 1 tbsp butter
* 2 tbsp double cream
* Handful of spinach leaves, blanched and pureed
* 1 pinch nutmeg

Gently toast the bread pieces and churn them into a coarse powder
* In a shallow dish, whisk egg, refined flour,
mustard and salt and set aside. In another plate, empty grated potato evenly
* In a pan, heat oil and dip the fillets in the egg mixture. Coat them with some grated potato and deep fry them until crispy. This should take about three to
four minutes
* To make the sauce, pierce the onion halves with cloves and keep aside
* In a saucepan, heat milk and add the onions and bay leaves. Simmer it for a few minutes and add salt
* Mix the sauce well and take it off the heat. Keep it aside for two hours for the flavours to seep well
* Strain the onion and bay leaf and place the pan on stove again. Add bread powder and spinach puree to this and stir until all the crumbs have dissolved well
* Season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and mix well. Finish the sauce with cream and serve it

Bread Muesli

Bread Muesli by homemaker Alka Shah. Pic/Nimesh Dave

* 4 pieces of dry bread
* 1/2 cup seasonal fruits, chopped
* ½ cup mixed nuts, toasted
* ½ cup muesli
* ¼ cup cornflakes
* Milk for serving

* Toast the bread for a few minutes or until slightly crispy. Grind it in a mixer and roast the powder gently on a griddle
* Transfer the crispy bread flakes into a bowl and add corn flakes, muesli, nuts and fruits to it Serve warm with cold milk

Italian bread soup

* 4 bread slices, torn
* 500 gm cherry tomatoes, halved
* 1 large tomato, chopped
* 2 cloves of garlic, grated
* 8-9 Italian basil leaves
* 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
* Sea salt and pepper to taste

Italian Bread Soup by homemaker Alka Shah. Pic/Nimesh Dave

* In a pan, heat olive oil and sauté garlic in it. Add tomatoes and stir until they soften
* Add bread pieces and a cup of water to the mixture and allow the bread pieces to melt
* Remove the pan from fire and allow it to cool thoroughly. Puree it in a blender and transfer it back into the pan
* Season the soup with sea salt and pepper and bring it to a boil
* Serve hot with a dash of olive oil

Baked bread meatballs

* 4 to six bread slices
* 2 tbsp safflower oil
* 4 tbsp butter
* 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
* ½ kilo chicken thigh, minced
* 2 cloves of garlic, minced
* 1 bird’s eye chilli, minced
* 1 egg
* 3 spring onions, minced
* Salt and pepper to taste
* Blue cheese for garnish

Bread meatballs  by Chef Nidhi Behl. Pic/Nimesh Dave

* Toast bread slices in a toaster and grind them into a coarse powder
* In a pan, mix butter with barbeque sauce and simmer it over low heat until both the elements mix well. Remove the pan from fire and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes
* In a bowl, mix the chicken with butter-barbecue sauce, egg, spring onions, garlic, chilli, bread powder and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and roll the mixture into small roundels
* Grease a baking tray with safflower oil and roast the meatballs for 15 to 20 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 220 degree Celsius
* Serve hot with spaghetti 

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