We may as well admit it: even those of us who are experienced cooks sometimes have gluten-free baking attempts that go seriously awry. The finished products may be hopelessly unappetizing or worse, nearly inedible.
Some cooks have no pangs of conscience about heaving such baking failures in the garbage and chalking up the losses to experience. However, my upbringing in a household where the proverb “Waste not, want not” was almost a matter of religious conviction still prevents me from being able to dispose of anything that possesses nutritional value, no matter how unpalatable that food may be. Therefore, I have had to look for ways to use my culinary catastrophes or eat the consequences.
I have learned that no matter how badly my yeast bread flops, I can turn it into crumbs in my food processor and use the crumbs in meatloaf, meatballs, stuffing, or casserole toppings. In this way, I have even redeemed bread that had a soggy texture more like a firm pudding than bread.
At the other extreme, I consider bread that has become too dry to revitalize as an equal candidate for such uses. Not only do I rescue failed yeast bread, but I also save stale and leftover cornbread for stuffing or to use in topping casseroles.
Cookies that turn out disappointingly receive a second chance as a substitute for graham crackers in making crust. Cookie crumbs can also substitute for the crumb topping on coffee cake or baked fruit dishes. If cookies have not gotten stale, they are good crumbled and sprinkled on ice cream.
Most of the time, I do not have an immediate need for the baked goods I wish to reincarnate. Therefore, I crumble them, usually in the food processor, bag the crumbs in labeled plastic bags, and store them in the freezer. At some later date when I need them, how pleasant it is to have the crumbs ready to pull from the freezer and use. As a result, baking fiascos become baking bonuses!