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Humble Food: Recycled... Bread?

Posted Apr 26 2009 12:29am

When you have a lovely whole grain loaf that's gone a trifle stale, the founts of culinary wisdom say you should make breadcrumbs, right? Well, what if you don't really need A Whole Loaf of breadcrumbs? You'd soon wind up in a similar situation, with a large bowl of, well, stale breadcrumbs.

Instead, why not investigate the ultimate thrifty solution? Take those breadcrumbs you just created - and bake bread.


"Make bread from breadcrumbs?!"

"Um, why? And how? And wouldn't it taste gross?"

On the contrary, my friends...

I was struck with the idea while reading a recipe for Herbed Passover Rolls, with matzah meal, in Cooking Light magazine - it dawned on me, suddenly, that breadcrumbs are rather similar in concept to matzah meal (ground matzah is to finely crumbled bread as orange juice is to... oh wait, I don't have to ever take the SAT or the GRE again, never mind...), so why not employ a baking technique to rejuvenate the humble breadcrumb?

My favorite breadcrumbs for these rolls are ones made from homemade whole grain bread, or a sprouted grain loaf such as Ezekiel bread. If you're still skeptical, I understand, but I ask only that you reserve judgment until you've garnished one of these rolls with a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of roasted garlic, and been transported to buoyant, airy, crisp-crust bread heaven...

Whole Grain Breadcrumb Rolls

1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup olive oil
1 T raw sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole wheat matzah meal
1 1/2 cups whole grain breadcrumbs
4 eggs
1 T minced chives
2 T rosemary

~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.
~ Stir the water, olive oil, sugar, and salt together in a saucepan, and bring to a boil.
~ Reduce the heat to low, add the matzah meal and breadcrumbs, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the saucepan (this will happen in a minute or less).
~ Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, and allow it to cool a bit.
~ Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl well and making sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next one.
~ Stir in the chives and rosemary.
~ Using an ice cream scoop for measuring, transfer mounds of dough onto the baking sheet.
~ Bake for around 50 minutes - until browned and crispy on the outside. Serve warm, of course...

*The Delicious Vitamins series will continue in the next post... :-)
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