By Sandy Hu
I always overbuy baguettes for a party. Bread is cheap and I’d rather have too much than not enough.
But then I’m stuck with the leftovers. Any sane person would toss the remainder but I always bag the leftovers, intending to do something with them. I hate waste.
I keep the slices in the freezer and use them for any of the following:
- Croutons. Cut bread in cubes and toss with a little olive oil. Bake in a 375-degree oven about 10 minutes, turning a few times until bread is golden and crisp.
- French toast. Beat 1 egg until frothy and whisk in ¼ cup milk and 1 tablespoon sugar with a little cinnamon and nutmeg. Dip bread slices in egg mixture and fry in butter until golden. Double or triple quantities as needed.
- Breadcrumbs. Put bread slices in a 250-degree oven until dried, about 15 minutes. Cool and grind in a food processor. Store in an airtight container.
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 ¼ pounds French bread (about 1 ½ loaves)
¾ cup raisins
3 large eggs
4 cups milk
1 3/4cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cut bread in ½-inch slices and spread butter on one side. Lay the slices in a buttered 13- X 9-inch baking pan, butter-side down, overlapping slices. Sprinkle with raisins. Whisk eggs until frothy, then whisk in milk, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bread, pressing bread down to help absorb the liquid. Let sit for one hour. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven about 1 hour or until the top is puffed and lightly brown. Cool on rack 30 minutes and serve. Makes 10 to 12 servings.
Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker, copyright 1997
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