some of the recipes here call for "old bread" ? is that old "cooked/baked" bread ? or it simply old uncooked dough (discard)
Dough is dough and bread is bread. Bread = baked. Dough = unbaked.
then I'm sposed to crumble up stale bread and mix it in with fresh dough ? just what is this sposed to accomplish ?
This is a pretty common practice, especially in rye breads. It is not something I have any experience or knowledge of beyond my reading, but yes, you are supposed to crumble up stale bread and mix it in with fresh dough. It is said to add an additional dimension of depth to the flavor. From what I read in "Inside the Jewish Bakery", it is also a great way for a baker to use up old bread by turning it into new bread, and another chance to sell it. :) I'm sure the flavor thing is the primary reason though.
If you type just the word altus into TFL's search box and click [Search] you'll find enough reading on the subject to keep you up late.
Keep baking happy!OldWoodenSpoon
I've done this for a dark Russian rye bread - the recipe said to crumble the bread finely and then toast until the color of dark oak(so it said). It was used in the bread to lighten the loaf in texture and add color (the bread was very dark brown since it had cocoa and instant coffee in it, too).
The crumbs can be toasted in a 400F oven for 8-10 minutes or in a pan on top of the stove over medium high heat stirring continuously until the crumbs are a dark.