One Loaf, Three Lives

This posting marks the first of our Guest Posting category and is brought to you by Bree Hendrick.*

Ever have trouble using a fresh loaf of ciabatta or French bread from heel to toe? (Or more appropriately, heel to heel.) Sometimes I do too, but I have trouble passing up a warm, fresh from the oven loaf of bread with all of its sweet, wholesome smell and soft, grainy middle. To combat the possibility of wasting any slices, my motto is “Never eat soggy wheat and never toss stale bread.” Hopefully our friends at My Florist would agree.

At the end of every day, local Ventura bakery My Florist has a happy hour special and sells fresh baked loaves of bread at a reduced price, some for just a dollar.

Last week, I busted out an old GW and picked up a beautiful loaf of Ciabatta large enough to feed 8. The problem? I was only cooking for two. So here is how gave one loaf of Ciabatta 3 lives.

DAY 1: Dinner Side Dish

Sliced the fresh bread and warmed it in the oven as a side for our dinner of pasta with marinara sauce.

DAY 2: Breakfast Staple

Took a few thick cut slices of Ciabatta and cut a pocket into the center line to make a delicious breakfast panini: Banana-Stuffed French Toast. The inspiration came from Williams-Sonoma. Find the recipe here.

DAY 3: Salad Topping

Past its peak of freshness but by no means stale, the leftover Ciabatta is perfect for making croutons. I made mine with a little olive oil, salt and parmesan but the possibilities are endless.  Real Simple offers a few variations in their crouton recipe online. Croutons

Fresh bread is amazing in its simplest form, fresh from the oven, but it’s also incredibly versatile. Be creative. The life of your bread is longer than you give it credit. You might see the slice that soaked up last night’s sauce electrifying today’s salad.

Editor’s Note: If you don’t what to commit to 3 days of cooking, no problem. Freeze the unused portion of bread until you are ready to enjoy it.

*Bree Hendrick is a local Ventura resident with an appetite for things that fuel wellness including good food, long runs and fun with friends and family. You can find her during meal time, staring blankly into the refrigerator initially, but often emerging with a surprisingly good meal. She encourages others to be surprised that they can cook too.
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