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Urchina's picture

Sopa de ajo, aka a fabulous ending for stale bread

August 21, 2010 - 9:58pm -- Urchina
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While it's not a bread recipe, it's a great way to use up stale bread, especially heels. Very little prep time, very yummy results. Excellent for winter nights. It's a spanish-inspired bread and garlic soup, Sopa de Ajo!


 


For 4-6 people you will need:


8 cups vegetable or chicken broth


as many whole eggs as you have people


a 1/2 cup of stale, cubed bread (I use cubes about 1.5 inches on a side, including crust)


8 cloves garlic 


1 T paprika (smoked is nice if you can find it)

davidg618's picture
davidg618

We usually consume our breads before they stale, but after our recent "open house" party, we had, collectively, about a loaf and a half of two different sourdoughs, and a 40% rye loaf; far too much for just the two of us to eat before staling. I cubed the leftovers, and spread them on a baking sheet, uncovered, for twenty-four hours. Then I put them into the food-processor, and turned it on until I had about six cups, or so of bread crumbs. Not having anything immediate for them, I froze them.


A couple of nights later Yvonne asked me to make baked cod fillets. I usually use panko crumbs in my recipe for baked cod, but when I looked the cupboard was bare, and I wasn't going to make the sixty-mile round trip to the Asian food market just for a bag of of panko crumbs. Out came the sourdough crumbs.


My baked cod recipe is super simple. I season plain crumbs with salt and pepper; add a Tblsp. of sweet, smoked paprika; and a sprinkle of chipotle chilie powder: just enough that makes my guests ask,"Is there chili powder in this?". I mix in about two Tblsp. of melted butter to one cup of crumbs.  I then take the frozen fillets, brush them quickly with hot, melted butter and roll them in the crumbs, patting them into the solidifying butter as I go. Then twenty-five minutes in a 375°F oven, or until the fish flakes easily.


This time, with the dark sourdough crumbs and a hint of rye flavor, I thought the paprika and chipotle wouldn't work, so I mixed up some Herbs Provence: dried thyme, fennel, and rosemary. Added them to the crumbs, with salt and pepper, to taste. And proceeded as usual.


We've got a new favorite, but won't abandon the old one. I thought we'd miss the super crunch panko supplies, but were pleasantly surprised when we found the sourdough crumbs--somewhat soft to the touch when thawed--crisped in the oven to near panko-like texture. I also made some herbed rice (fresh thyme and tarragon) to side the fish.


I think sourdough bread crumbs have become a staple in our home.


David G

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