"Do not throw bread away": three recipes with stale bread
From delicious pies to bread "meatballs", stale bread is a great ingredient for fancy dishes. Tuscan bread is one of the most important traditional bakery products in the region. Baking at moderate temperatures and natural rising are features that distinguish it from others across Italy, but the main characteristic is its total lack of salt. It’s precisely the lack of salt that gives this bread the perfect consistency for making delicious soups and cold salads as pappa al pomodoro or panzanella. I recently sneaked into a very special, professional cooking class at the Cordon Bleu School of Florence titled "Do not throw bread away", led by Chef David Bonucci. So, leaving aside Tuscan traditional dishes here are three original recipes to give new life to your day-old bread.
Bread "meatballs" with tomato sauce
For the bread meatballs
- 400 g of stale bread
- 2 or 3 eggs
- Pine nuts
- Pecorino romano
- Mint or parsley
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Flour or bread crumbs
For the sauce
- Peeled tomatoes
- Chop the bread and soak in milk
- Squeeze out well and put in a bowl
- Add all ingredients and adjust the consistency with more flour or breadcrumbs.
- Form the meatballs and brown in oil.
- Chop the onions and sautè whith the garlic and the bay leaf, then add the peeled tomatoes
- Blend the tomato sauce
- Serve the meatballs with the sauce on one side.
Bread pie with bacon and vegetables
- 400 g of stale bread
- 2 eggs
- Fresh cream
- Puff pastry
- Cooked vegetables (spinach, broccoli, pumpkin)
- Soak the bread in milk
- Wring out and put in a large bowl
- Add eggs, cheese and cream
- Roll out the pastry and line a baking sheet
- Put a layer of bacon and vegetables and cover with the bread mixture, put another layer of bacon and vegetables and cover with the bread mixture
- Bake at 160°C for about 25 minutes
Crunchy tomato bread
Roast your stale bread to obtain crusty bread. Spread with a little tomato sauce before roasting it to get delicious tomato bread for very special snacks.
- Stale bread
- Tomato sauce
- Cut the bread into thin slices (if possible with a slicer).
- Season with tomato sauce and bake until golden brown.
[Photo credits: Flavia Cori, Tuscany Social Media Team]
About the Cordon Bleu School of Florence
The Cordon Bleu school runs a range of amateur and professional courses: Basic Cuisine, Haute Cuisine, Pastry and Professional programs aimed at housewives, young learners, managers, foreigners, food lovers and aspiring professional cooks.