I hate wasting food. There are so many people who have next to nothing that to waste food is anathema. But what if <cue chilling music> despite your best endeavours your bread is stale? Fear not! Just have a go at this recipe. It’s a very simple way to use up stale bread. It’s also very versatile, making a good breakfast on a chilly morning served with milk or natural yoghurt; it can be sliced and eaten for a filling accompaniment to lunch; it can be dished up with piping hot custard for a wonderful winter warmer pud.
You will need:
10 slices stale bread (medium sliced value/economy loaf)
milk/soya milk (or water)
130g sugar* (brown works well but caster sugar is fine)
70g suet/vegetable suet
200g dried fruit** (I used a mixture of sultanas, raisins, blueberries and apricots)
2 teaspoons mixed spice
Two greased loaf tins
I’ve not priced this one up yet, but all the ingredients are relatively inexpensive, so the price per portion must be small.
1. Break bread into smallish pieces (1 inch/2.5cm) and place into a mixing bowl (you could use breadcrumbs).
2. Cover sparingly with the milk and press the bread down so that the bread begins to absorb the liquid.
3. Leave for 15 minutes.
4. Have a cuppa while you’re waiting.
5. Tip the mixture into a sieve or colander and squeeze excess moisture out. It needn’t be dry, just not dripping. If you were careful with the milk you shouldn’t be left with too much to squeeze (and hence, waste).
6. Place squishy bread in a big mixing bowl.
7. Add the sugar, fruit, suet and spice. Mix well.
8. Tip half into one loaf tin and half into the other.
9. Bake on a very low heat 100ºC for about 3*** hours.
10. Serve on its own, or with milk, yoghurt or custard.
*Sugar – it is so easy to by fair trade sugar nowadays that this is an obvious choice for a recipe such as this. If it’s fairly traded, no one will have been ripped off. And ripping off poor people is nasty.
** Dried fruit – if you’re strapped for cash, go for sultanas. It won’t make any real difference in flavour.
*** You can cook this in the slow cooker overnight on ‘low’ or, if you have an oven which turns itself off, you can make it before bed, set the timer for 3 hours (knowing that the oven will turn itself off in the meantime) and look forward to a yummy breakfast, which makes a nice change from porridge or toast 🙂