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Dehydrate extra bread!

 
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I cleaned out my freezer, and one of the things I removed was some excellent bread I had baked. It got sliced nicely and put into the dehydrator.
Why?

It's a heavy dense bread, which works well for this (great if you accidentally bake a batch that didn't rise well!) I like my bread solid and dense. Was a three day ferment, which increases digestibility, (basically make your dough, and let it sit, stir or knead it several times, for three days.) It is a highly nutrient dense bread, again, how I like it with beans and veggies in it, as well as different types of grains. I spiced it too! But I needed freezer space.  

So now, it's been sliced small, dried, and will be put into the bowls with soup or stews (knowing me, there will be squash in the soup!) and it will add a LOT  more nutrition than commercial pasta would.

Another batch that got pulled out and dehydrated was a flatbread, cut into long thin pieces, this is basically pasta, will be served with a sauce on it. It's like the other, beans, grains, veggies, long ferment.

One more type that was pulled out was excellent breadsticks I made, that I cut into bite sized pieces, that will get sauce on them too.

So if you have excess bread, try cutting some of it thin and making it act like pasta. Pasta really, in the end, is the same ingredients as bread, and by using better flavors, I can make all kinds of yummy things!  As well as clear some freezer space!

I also dehydrate ends of loaves, always have a bunch around, they get used for things like breading fish. A LOT more nutritious than buying bread crumbs!

Ever dehydrated bread? What type, and what did you do with it?


 
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Usually, leftover loaves and heels get turned into bread crumbs aka cubes of bread for topping soups, making bread pudding, and filling for meatloaf.

I don't use a dehydrator so I never thought of this being dehydrated bread.

I just put the extra bread into the toaster oven for a few minutes and leave it overnight.  Then I turn the bread into cubes.

You are right it is dehydrated bread, I just use the technique that I was taught by Mom and Grandmother.
 
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I used to dehydrate a lot of bread to turn into crumbs. I'd just leave slices on the counter for a few days until they were crunchy, then blend them up and put into jars. I mostly used them for seasoned bread crumbs, which I just mentioned in Vera's food waste thread.

Fry the bread crumbs in some olive oil until they're brown, maybe along with some finely minced onion or mushrooms, and whatever herbs and spices you like. I'd often put nutritional yeast in, too. Garlic and lemon zest is traditional. Then you have crunchy tasty stuff to sprinkle on pretty much anything. Pasta is traditional, but I put them on steamed vegetables, salad, casserole, etc., etc. I also ate them with a spoon.
 
pollinator
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For some reason I’ve always frozen my bread remnants until I’m ready to use them for stuffing, pudding croutons. Drying them makes so much more sense! Thanks, Pearl!
 
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I am definitely going to try this! Whenever I make sourdough bread it is always too much for me to eat by my lonesome before it gets rock hard, and I just got a dehydrator (25 bucks on Facebook marketplace!) so I'm raring to use it! Thanks for the idea!
 
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I dehydrated sourdough bread cubes but cautionary tale - it still will mold after a while! At least mine did
 
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Karen Douglass wrote:I dehydrated sourdough bread cubes but cautionary tale - it still will mold after a while! At least mine did



My husband just commented today saying he wished we could store bread long term.   What a great idea!  With our climate even well cured hay will mold in the barn after a while.  Maybe drying the bread to the same point as crispy veggies which snap when you try to bend them, will work.  Then store in airtight containers.  
 
Pearl Sutton
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I dry to totally crisp, then store airtight. I have never had mold, I think I have some that has been around 5 years or more.
 
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Karen Douglass wrote:I dehydrated sourdough bread cubes but cautionary tale - it still will mold after a while! At least mine did


It can be stored in airtight jars and vacuum sealed. That's what I have to do with all dry goods, or else the humidity and the pantry moths get them.

FoodSaver has attachments that fit both regular and wide mouth canning jars. I use these with a little handpump called a pump-n-seal. Permies has a thread on how to do this, here - https://permies.com/t/173876/kitchen/dry-goods
 
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Wow! Great idea! Would you mind sharing your bread recipie? I can only make plain sourdough. Would love to have a dense, nutritious bread!
 
pollinator
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Skouby Girl wrote:Wow! Great idea! Would you mind sharing your bread recipie? I can only make plain sourdough. Would love to have a dense, nutritious bread!



I am not much of a bread baker, but have been making this recently:  https://www.mynewroots.org/site/2013/02/the-life-changing-loaf-of-bread/

Warnings:

--This is not a regular bread - note no flour!  Thus no breadcrumbs, which were after all the point of the original post.
--It's really really dense and heavy - a slice is a meal.
--You can't treat it like sandwich bread - it has no flex without breaking.  You can spread stuff on it, which given how filling it is, is kind of overkill.
--All the nuts and seeds can be expensive.

But it's tasty, super-filling, lasts a long time in the fridge, impossible to mess up, can be cooked in my Instant Pot and not my gas oven (Russian gas go **** yourself)...

I'd also love to see Pearl's recipe!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Morfydd St. Clair:  That one looks good!

The problem is I don't use a recipe.

Cooked beans mashed or blended up
oil of whatever sort you want
salt
yeast or starter
whatever flavors you want
enough liquid to balance the dry ingredients
leftover bread from other batches
dehydrated vegetable powder, or mashed vegetables
and a mix of cooked or raw grains, enough flour with gluten or adhesion to help it hold together

Mix it well, let it sit and rise/ferment for three days, stirring or kneading it every so often and adding stuff until it looks good then bake it.
If at the end of the days of ferment it looks like it won't hold together, work in a few eggs (don't let things with raw eggs sit out for three days!! )

Which aint very helpful if you want a recipe :D

I keep a LOT of odd beans and grains, and every batch has different flavors and it all depends on what I am in the mood for. Some end up up herb tasting, some cheesy tasting, some with a deep umami flavor, some like sharp sourdough.

So I can't offer a recipe. But I make neat bread with LOTS of nutrients that absorb easily due to the ferment time. Definitely does NOT look like a beautifully photographed loaf of white flour sourdough bread you see on the net.
 
Morfydd St. Clair
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Morfydd St. Clair:  That one looks good!

The problem is I don't use a recipe.

Cooked beans mashed or blended up
oil of whatever sort you want
salt
yeast or starter
whatever flavors you want
enough liquid to balance the dry ingredients
leftover bread from other batches
dehydrated vegetable powder, or mashed vegetables
and a mix of cooked or raw grains, enough flour with gluten or adhesion to help it hold together

Mix it well, let it sit and rise/ferment for three days, stirring or kneading it every so often and adding stuff until it looks good then bake it.
If at the end of the days of ferment it looks like it won't hold together, work in a few eggs (don't let things with raw eggs sit out for three days!! )

Which aint very helpful if you want a recipe :D

I keep a LOT of odd beans and grains, and every batch has different flavors and it all depends on what I am in the mood for. Some end up up herb tasting, some cheesy tasting, some with a deep umami flavor, some like sharp sourdough.

So I can't offer a recipe. But I make neat bread with LOTS of nutrients that absorb easily due to the ferment time. Definitely does NOT look like a beautifully photographed loaf of white flour sourdough bread you see on the net.



Wow!  Thank you!  You are correct, though, I think that's too advanced for me. :)

However, I happened to be reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn, and she has a kind of "universal bread" recipe which might give me a start to adding more adventurous things - and fermenting!

Starting on page 885, with a lot more explanation in the book of how things go together:

1 to 1-1/2 C liquid
up to 1/2 C fat
up to 2 tsp salt
up to 1/2 C sugar or 1/4 C honey
up to 1/2 C additions (dry/moist/wet)
up to 2 tsp herbs/spices
1 tsp to 1 Tbsp yeast
3-4 C flour

"up to" means you can omit entirely if you want

Mix everything except the flour and yeast, heat to "tepid", add yeast and mix.  Add flour until kneadable.  Knead until elastic, adding flour as needed.  Cover, let rise until doubled.  Shape, put in/on pans, cover, let rise again.  Bake at 375.

I recommend the book highly.  FYI she includes several other "universal" recipes to use what is at hand, though that's not the focus of the book at all.
 
Pearl Sutton
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The reason I do the three day ferment has to do with how wheat is harvested these days. Used to be the varieties grown had softer seeds than the current varieties, and the wheat was cut and shocked in the field before it was brought in, and the seeds started to break down before it was brought in and threshed.

Fast forward to combine harvesters, and they gummed up fast with the soft gluteny seeds, so harder varieties were planted. The harvest went straight in and didn't get any breakdown time. So the wheat we are eating now is harder to digest for nutrients than the older types. Since I use store bought whole grain wheat and flour, I ferment it, to make the nutrients more accessible to me.

Regular sourdough does this to a point, but people tend to be looking for the high rise time to stop the process by baking it, and it doesn't get as much breakdown time. I do lose the high rise, my bread is dense and heavy, like the nut bread Morfydd St. Clair posted. But since I throw SO MANY mixed nutrients into it, and let it sit, all kinds of things breakdown out of it. I don't claim to know what all it is. I DO claim that there's a LOT of them. Eating it hits you like a meal, not a snack. It's interesting stuff! If you are used to making bread and might be able to look at what I listed and see how I do it, it's worth a try.

(oh, and it's great when dehydrated, and if it ain't, you throw the dehydrated stuff back into another batch!)
:D
 
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I think that idea of adding some dehydrated veggie powder to bread deserves some experimenting! Dehydrating can be hard here due to the high humidity, but it can be done if I time things right. I've certainly added my dried herbs to breads at times, but maybe I need to up my game here!
 
Pearl Sutton
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Any veggies I don't have energy to do something better to get dehydrated, then powdered, and dumped into a jar. When I bake bread I shake the jar to mix it, then scoop some out. Been doing this for years, I moved from the desert where dehydration was my default for everything, was so easy to do. It's more work in Missouri. A lot more on the Wet Coast :D

Y'all can freeze dry things down to get most of the water out before you dehydrate. Put your stuff, chopped or pulverized well, into an container that is too big for it. Put it in the freezer, give it a week or so, open it, knock off the ice crystals, put it back in. Repeat several times and then remove thaw and dehydrate. Don't know how much nutrition you'd lose during that, but it does make dehydrating work better in humid climates.
 
pollinator
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Thanks for the idea Pearl!  I also love that you don't stick to a recipe but make it as you go.  My great-grandmother cooked like that and I tend to do the same.  

Love the idea of adding dehydrated veggies too.  Imagining a sweet potato bread and a savory tomato bread.
 
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