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Recycle That Day-Old Bread

Cookbook author Carole Lalli has put together in her third cookbook, Yesterday's Bread, 100 recipes for bread that's lost a bit of its freshness.

She takes CBS News This Morning through some of the tasty ways stale bread can be transformed into a wonderful dishes and desserts.

Cooking with day-old bread is not a new concept. The practice stems from the days when traditional breads were made with just yeast, water, flour and salt, explains Lalli, as nothing went to waste because there wasn't enough food to go around.

French toast started with the idea of stale bread because its firmness held up and the cooking moisture and flavors of the egg/milk batter were well absorbed, she notes.

Traditional breads, made only with yeast, water, flour and a pinch of salt, are great for stale bread recipes, says Lalli, adding that breads made with fat take a little longer to become stale - breads like brioche and Jewish Sabbath bread, or challah, to name a few.

Great Breads to Recycle
French baguette
long Italian loaves
Pepperidge Farm or any good dense white bread
whole wheat or multigrain - for savory bread pudding
brioche or challah
Swiss peasant
Tuscan (its very firm crust makes firm crumbs)
foccacia: plain, salted or herbed
country or rustic

Besides offering the basics of recycling not-so-fresh bread into croutons, stuffings and crumbs, Lalli includes recipes for appetizers like Nina's Tomato Brushetta and the Tuscan Chicken Liver Crostini.

There are even bread soups, like Pappa al Pomodoro, a tomato-based soup that dates back to Roman times. She notes that French and Portuguese influences drive some of her other soup recipes. Ribollita
is another soup.

Some main dishes cited are Penne With Swiss Chard, Roasted Garlic and Spicy Crumbs; Rack of Lamb With Herb Crust; Chicken Pot Pie With Leeks and Asparagus and Bread Salad With Asian Flavors.

In addition she covers sweet recipes for desserts such as Chocolate Bread Pudding, Cranberry Pear Bread Pudding, Peach and White Chocolate Bread Pudding.

She also has not-so-traditional bread pudding recipes such as Aparagus Pudding With Ricotta and Corn Bread Pudding With Tomatoes.

Lalli says she believes the time is right for this kind of cookbook because, "there's better bread around and people are gravitating toward it."

"People now have access to more traditional breads made without preservatives. Therefore there's more bread out there that's going stale faster," she adds.

Manufactured breads are really too soft for these recies, she says, and they don't actually go stale; they just get moldy.

Yesterday's Bread
Breads made without preservatives are also tastier, and this enhanced flavor lives on when they're used stale, she adds.

"There is so much more bread these days made in nonmanufactured ways that cooking with them when they're not so fresh is quite easy to do," she says.

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