I love fresh bread because I’m human and all humans love bread, if you don’t then you’re obviously some sort of weird duck. Ducks love bread though right?… Whatever.
Anyway, I love fresh bread but tend to buy it, eat one glorious slice of it and approximately five minutes later, it’s covered in green powdery mould. Eww.
So to avoid this, I’ve started buying fresh loaves, cutting them into slices on the day of purchase and then freezing them. If you do this they can last months (well not in our house because we eat it all). It’s lovely to wake up and know you can have freshly toasted bread with your eggs for breakfast or a defrosted piece of soughdough with soup for lunch. So here’s how you do it…
1. Quick: It’s very important to cut up your loaf and freeze it as soon as possible, don’t wait for it to go stale. The fresher the bread the fresher it will freeze. Once defrosted or toasted, it will taste the same as the day you bought it, marvellous.
2. Wrap: Slice your loaf as evenly as you can and either wrap several slices in a few layers of cling film or pop them into airtight freezer bags and freeze. You can wrap a whole loaf up together if you like but I find it easier to store them around other frozen items if you do it in batches.
3. Eat: Once frozen simply pull the slices apart and pop straight in the toaster for toast. We don’t have a ‘from frozen’ button on our toaster, so I just toast it how I would normally toast a piece of bread. I don’t even extend the time but if you think it needs a bit longer, then an extra 30 seconds should do it.
To defrost the bread for sandwiches, simply remove the slices you want from the freezer but keep them wrapped in cling film. If you’ve taken a slice from a big batch then wrap it up in a fresh piece of clingfilm. I tend to do this the night before so it’s ready for me in the morning. Defrosting on the day only takes a few hours at room temperature.
4. What else can I freeze? I freeze all my bread including pitta bread, rolls, wraps, tortillas and even hot crossed buns. Just make sure you wrap them correctly to prevent any air getting to them and use within 3 – 4 months.
‘Oh and I think your blog is so great, all your food looks soooo delicious and you’re just soooooo funny…’ Oh stop it I blush, I’m really not that funny, I smile goofily at my computer screen and wave my hand at it as if to say ‘get outta here’.
I read on…
‘The majority of people food blogging aren’t very interesting so it’s nice to stumble across someone who doesn’t make me want to skip straight to the recipe, especially the blogs you do with your son…”
Oh stop it, I think to myself again…. Wait, what did she say? Son? What son?… I haven’t got a son. The only person that really features on my blog other than me is NOOOOOOO!
SHE THINKS JAMIE IS MY SON!!!
Am I that old and shrivelled she’s mistaken me for my boyfriend’s mother?! Well this is a new low, perhaps I need to sit down, NO! That’s what old people do. Maybe he just looks freakishly young? I’m only 32 for god sake, I would’ve had to have had him when I was six, surely that isn’t even possible. Perhaps for Christmas I should ask for a giant vat of Olay Regenerist just in case. I wonder if it’s still made with babies umbilical cords or if that was just a 90’s rumour. Not sure I fancy putting umbilical cord cream on my face but as I’m ageing at an alarming rate it’s my only hope. Oh well, at least she thought I was funny.
Anyway, speaking of mum’s, this recipe is inspired by a dish my very own mother Lizzie used to make me. Her recipe is long-lost of course (she manages to lose all of her beloved recipes) so had a go at making it from memory. It’s essentially made up of my two favourite things in life, bread and cheese, so go grab your big pants, it’s time to get your carb on.
Savoury bread & butter pudding
Serves 4-6 / Hands on time 40 mins / Total time 1 hour 10 mins / V
2 red onions, sliced
1 knob of butter
1 garlic clove
400g white sourdough loaf
100g medium vegetarian cheddar cheese, grated (half for the wet mixture and half for the topping)
100g cheese of your choice grated or crumbled for the filling – I used a combination of Emmental and cheddar but you can use any cheese you can either grate or crumble
Handful fresh thyme sprigs
Salt & pepper
500-700ml semi-skimmed milk
1. Preheat oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6. Roughly slice the onions and put them in a large saucepan or pot with a knob of butter and the crushed garlic clove. Sweat on a low heat for around 10-15 minutes until soft.
2. Meanwhile, butter a 2 litre oven dish and begin slicing the sourdough. Once sliced, pick up the slices as a loaf and put straight into the oven dish. Pull the slices apart to fill the dish creating a zig zag effect.
3. Firstly, grate the 100g of cheddar for the wet mixture/topping and put to one side. Then grate/crumble your chosen cheese for the filling and put to one side.
4. Once the onions are soft, take off the heat and begin to spoon evenly between the bread layers followed by cheese you you’ve chosen for your filling. Stuff several thyme sprigs throughout the pudding and but to one side.
5. In a separate bowl beat the eggs, milk and half the remaining grated cheddar together with a whisk and season well with salt and pepper. Pour carefully over the pudding making sure you manage to soak all of the bread. Top with the rest of the grated cheddar and season well with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven on the middle shelf for 30 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and discard the charred thyme sprigs and serve immediately with a simple green salad.
If you’ve had a go at making my savoury bread & butter pudding or any of my recipes I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org