From delicious pies to “meatballs” made of bread, stale bread is surprisingly a super ingredient for fancier dishes. Tuscan bread is one of the region’s most important traditional baked goods. As opposed to other regions in Italy, bread here is baked at more moderate temperatures and rises naturally, though its main quality is the total lack of salt. And it’s precisely its salt-free preparation that gives this bread the perfect consistency for making delicious soups and cold salads, such as pappa al pomodoro or panzanella. The Cordon Bleu cooking school in Florence offers the course "Do not throw bread away” led by Chef David Bonucci, the perfect inspiration point for three original recipes that give new life to your day-old bread.
Ingredients: For your bread meatballs, use 400 grams of stale bread, 2 or 3 eggs, milk, pine nuts, pecorino romano, mint or parsley, garlic, extra-virgin olive oil and flour or bread crumbs. For the sauce, you’ll need an onion, garlic, laurel and peeled tomatoes.
Method: Slice the bread and soak it in milk; squeeze it out well and place in a bowl. Add all of the ingredients together and adjust the consistency using flour or breadcrumbs. Next, make your meatballs and brown them in oil. Chop the onions and sauté with garlic and bay leaves before adding the peeled tomatoes. Blend the tomato sauce before serving the meatballs with sauce on the side.
Ingredients: 400 grams of stale bread, pecorino, 2 eggs, milk, fresh cream, bacon, puff pastry and cooked vegetables (spinach, broccoli and pumpkin).
Method: Soak the bread in milk; squeeze it out well and place in a large bowl. Add eggs, cheese and cream before rolling out the pastry and lining it on a baking sheet. Add a layer of bacon and vegetables and then cover with the bread mixture. Repeat this step, placing another layer of bacon and vegetables and covering it with the bread mixture. Bake at 160°C for about 25 minutes.
Roast your stale bread to obtain a crusty texture. Before roasting, spread a little tomato sauce on the surface to fuse the bread with the delicious tomato taste – a special snack for every occasion.
Ingredients: Stale bread and tomato sauce.
Method: Cut the bread into thin slices (if possible with a slicer). Next, season it with tomato sauce and bake until golden brown.
About Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Florence: The Cordon Bleu school offers a large range of amateur and professional courses, including classes focused on basic cuisine, haute cuisine, pastry and other professional programs. These courses are aimed at stay-at-home moms, students, managers, foreigners, food lovers and aspiring professional cooks.
Photo credit: Flavia Cori, Tuscany Social Media Team