Suggestions for Your Aging Loaf
- Cut the bread into cubes, keeping the crusts on. Toss them in olive oil and bake at 425º F until golden (about 10 minutes in my oven, it might be more or less in yours) for wonderful croutons to drop into soup. You could add some gtated cheese, finely chopped rosemary and garlic for a fancier version for salads.
- Bread sauce for roasted poultry or game dishes. You will need small chunks of bread without crusts, just-boiled milk infused with a small onion, a bay leaf,and a few cloves for half an hour. Reheat before serving and season with freshly ground pepper and sea`salt.
- Coarse bread crumbs could be done in a foodprocessor. Remember to freeze any bread crumbs you don't plan to use right away. You can use them later in multiple ways:
- to thicken soups
- to make a crisp topping for broiled dishes
- to coat fish: season fish fillets with salt and pepper, dip fish into flour, then into beaten egg, then into bread crumbs and pan-fry.
- Pan-fry bread crumbs in olive oil and some sea salt until crisp, drain on paper towels to use over pasta.
- Dry bread crumbs completely on a baking sheet in a warm oven, then process them until very fine. You can use them later to make your own homemade fish fingers.
- One-or-two-day-old bread is even better suitable for toast than fresh bread.
- Pain perdu.
This is a classic French dessert, very popular in Russia. I loved it as a kid for Saturday or Sunday breakfast. The name could be translated as "forgotten" or "lost" bread. It is made with stale white bread.
- You will need:
4 slices of stale white bread without crusts, couple of larfe free-range eggs, some superfine sugar, ¾ cup whole milk, and unsalted butter for pan-frying.
- How to:
in a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar for a couple of munutes to disolve the sugar, then add the milk and whisk again. Pour this mixture into a shallow dish. Lay your bread slices in a single layer, let them soak for couple of minutes on one side and then on the other. Meanwhile, preheat a frying pan over medium-low heat. When your bread is ready, put some unsalted butter to the pan to cover the bottom of the pan once melted. As soon as the butter is ready (don't let it brown!), start frying bread for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Romove the pain perdu from the pan and keep it warm while you fry the rest of the bread slices. Remember to add more butter to the pan as needed. Serve right away, with berries, poached fruit, or just tea.
- Panzanella salad.
About 1 pound stale white bread (ideally, Ciabatta or White Sourdough)
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
½ cucumber, chopped into small cubes
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped into small cubes
A handful of small capers
5 teaspoons good-quality white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
A pinch of superfine sugar
A bunch of basil, leaves only