Who doesn’t love this spongy, fluffy and flexible wonder? Who can resist the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread? It is the staple food for many around the world. Yet, due to the predominant use of all purpose flour (Maida), the white bread is looked down upon. Lately, whole wheat flour and multiple grain bread are getting more popular. Ask any school going kid’s mother and she will thank this wonderful bakery product simply for its versatility. Here are some of the ways of using bread. (Well, you may know many, already.) 1. To make a variety of sandwiches, toast, upma, dosa, pakoda, patties, tikkis, gulab jamun, burfi, halwa and so on. In Maharashtra, Pav is very popular and it is used in vada-pav, bhajia-pav, samosa-pav, usal-pav, missal-pav, Dabeli, Pav-bhaji, Pav with ras bhaji or pataL bhaji, Kheema-pav etc. It is said, Pav became a staple for the hurried Mill workers of Mumbai and that in turn gave birth to many local innovations like Pav-bhaji and Vada-pav etc which are now extremely popular all over India. 2. To clean up drawing sheets or boards. (Use the soft centre of the bread slice) 3. To pick up broken glass. 4. Breadcraft is a wonderful art form that allows you to get creative and produce beautiful pieces of art. You may search YouTube to get a better idea of this art. 5. To feed pets, strays, crows. (Hah! These days street dogs simply sniff and move away. They don’t like plain bread anymore!) 6. You can cut bread slices into cubes and toast in the microwave or on a pan and store in the refrigerator. They can be had with soups. 7. If you want to remove excess spices or water from the curry, place an entire slice of bread over the slightly watery curry. After a while remove and discard the same when it is fully soaked. This is an easy way to repair your food without struggling too much. 8. Instead of discarding the brown edges of the bread and a little old bread, simply crumble it in the mixer/grinder/blender. Fresh breadcrumbs are ready for use. If not, microwave it to dry and your dry breadcrumbs are ready and they stay good for a really long time even outside the refrigerator, when stored in an airtight container. Another smarter way is to leave these fresh crumbs on a hot tava/pan after making chapatis or dosas, you may even place them on the plate covering the pan in which you are cooking your curry. You are reading it right! Even this radiated heat is sufficient to dry them up! Another way of making dry crumbs is to toast the bread slices first and then powder. Now the next question is how to use these breadcrumbs? Well, here are some of the uses I have learnt and innovated… 1. Use them as a binder in Pattis and tikkis. (Everybody knows about it!) 2. As a coating on cutlets. You may also blend them with some herbs and then use it to coat cutlets. 3. As a binder in many dry dishes. 4. Use them to make burfi or halwa. 5. Use them to thicken gravy or the sandwich chutney. You would be amazed at the creamy consistency it imparts to the sandwich chutney. (This is an original innovation of mine!) 6. If you miss on the proportions while grinding the chutney, don’t worry. Simply add a teaspoon of breadcrumbs and grind again. Breadcrumbs have this wonderful property of absorbing additional water or spices. I discovered it during my experimentations. 7. Ditto for your curries, dosa batter, paratha fillings too. You need to use just a little and even experts will not notice the difference. These are some of the methods I use regularly. See if you find any of these interesting and useful. It would be wonderful if you can share here some of your own innovative ways of using bread.