Foodhack: A Save for Stale Bread

pain-perdue

If you are anything like me, you love a good baguette. If you live with others, be they your family or friends, a good baguette disappears in a single sitting. If you live alone, you are inevitably faced with the sad sight of a stale baguette more inclined to make your gums bleed than tickle your tongue. After many years of stubbornly attempting to eat the inedible, I happened upon the following trick (cribbed from a baguette recipe I inherited years ago):

To save a stale baguette (or loaf): Preheat the oven, around 350°-400°. Fill a shallow pan (I’m partial to pyrex though any will do) with water and place on the lower rack of your oven as it preheats. Place the offending bread on the top rack, and walk away for five minutes. Check on the bread- it should be crusting slightly while the middle regains its moisture- to see if it has arrived at the desired result- crispy, moist bread that can be easily made into sandwiches.

This has worked for me on the second and third day of a baguette’s life, but sometimes you have reached the point of no return. If you find yourself in such a predicament, I recommend either French toast (whose native moniker, pain perdu, means “lost bread”) or bread pudding as a tasty way to waste not, want not.

For recipe ideas, click the links below:

Pain Perdu with Poached Apricots

Savory Parmesan Pain Perdu with Poached Eggs and Greens

French Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding

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