Taking Top Honors Even When Stale...

Bread is purchased in large quantities in the belief that no meal is complete without it. But the inevitable excess gets stale and goes to waste. And yet, there are some recipes that explicitly call for stale bread.

Regarded as a blessing in Turkish culture, bread is accorded great respect.  Unfortunately, however, this respect does not keep bread from being increasingly wasted. Some 12 percent of the bread produced in Turkey today sadly becomes garbage. The amount of store-bought bread that is wasted in large quantities at cafes, restaurants, snack bars, school canteens and commercial catering services is equivalent to 450,000 tons of wheat.

At a time when the world is threatened with malnutrition and hunger, is it not high time we made use of the bread produced from hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat rather than letting it go to waste? Now, when Turkey’s Soil Products Office has launched a ‘Don’t Waste Your Bread’ campaign, you too can take a step towards preventing wastage. It’s very simple: Instead of tossing your stale bread in the garbage, turn it into a tasty dish!

4 slices stale bread
1 medium onion
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp ground red and  black pepper
3 tbsp yoghurt
1 clove of garlic
4 cups water

Melt the butter in a skillet, then add the sliced (“piyaz” cut, along the grain) onions and saute until they begin to color. Add the tomato paste and spices together with the water and let simmer. Pour the sauce over the cubed stale bread on a tray, making sure all the bread cubes are moistened. May be served with garlic, or non-garlic, yoghurt as desired.

Savory Buns
1/2 loaf stale bread
1 cup milk
250 g white (Feta) cheese
2 eggs
1/2 bunch fresh dill
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup black cumin (“çörek otu”)

Knead together the stale bread, milk, eggs and dill to make a dough and let stand in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, add the bicarbonate of soda, then knead the dough once again and shape into uniform lumps. Beat the remaining eggs well and dip the lumps first in flour, then in the beaten eggs. Arrange on a baking sheet and sprinkle with black cumin. Bake in a preheated 200 ºC oven until golden brown all over.

Bread Sweet With Sour Cherries
2 slices stale bread
1 1/2 cup water
300 g sugar
250 g sour cherries (“vişne”)

Toast the stale bread well in a 150 ºC oven. Boil the water and sugar together, then add the cherries. When it reaches the consistency of syrup, pour it hot over the bread and let simmer over low heat until thickened. Cool and serve topped with whipped cream or Turkish clotted cream (“kaymak”).

3 slices stale bread
2 eggs
1 tbsp butter
5 sprigs of parsley
1/2 cup grated Kasseri  (“Kaşar”) cheese

Cut the bread in cubes, then mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet, brown the mixture well on both sides and serve piping hot.

You can find more recipes that  use stale bread on the website www.ekmekisrafetme.com