Q: I have a lot of rolls leftover when I make hamburgers and hot dogs. There are only three people in my family, so we always have extra buns. I freeze the buns, but now my freezer has become a cemetery for leftover buns. What can I do with this leftover frozen bread? I use it for stuffing and I am terrible at making bread pudding. Is there a store that sells buns in a pack of four? Help, please!
— Geneva Lawrence. Burlington, North Carolina
A: Hamburger and hot dog buns from major bread bakeries typically come in packs of eight. However at the in-store bakery at most grocery chains, customers can usually buy only as many rolls as they want. The rolls in the bakery may come packaged in sets of eight, but if you ask at the counter, most stores will sell you half a package or even an odd number.
Some bakeries offer bins of rolls sold in bulk where shoppers can select only what they need. You might pay as much for three or four rolls from the bakery as you do for a package of eight in the bread aisle, but you will eliminate the waste.
As far as what to do with leftover breadstuffs, you are correct: Stuffing and bread pudding are two common uses. (Your bread pudding issues likely would be resolved with the right recipe, but that’s another question entirely.) French toast casserole and breakfast strata are other dishes that use up aging bread and rolls.
There are plenty of other ways to use up those buns.
If you know you are having hamburgers one day, consider another sandwich meal later in the week to use the remaining rolls. Tuna melts, for example, taste great when made open face on hamburger rolls. Or use them for sandwiches in lunches the following day. Kids, especially, tend to get a kick out of eating their peanut butter and jelly on a hot dog bun because of its shape.
Leftover rolls make fine garlic toast; just butter and top with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese, then pop in the broiler for a minute or so to toast.
Toast and grate the rolls for homemade bread crumbs, or cube them and toast them for homemade croutons for in salad or on top of soup. Croutons are especially tasty in salad with ripe, summer tomatoes because the bread cubes are perfect for soaking up the tomato juice.
You also could consider sharing a pack of rolls with a friend, family member or neighbor. When all else fails, the birds in the backyard typically appreciate the treat.
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