Baked and Fried Stale Breads (IMBB #25)

IMBB#25 is hosted this month by An Obsession With Food.  Head over to the Is My Blog Burning? website to learn more about this and other food events.  Derrick chose the excellent theme of stale bread.  As a home bread baker and a bread addict, I tend to have a fair amount of the stuff around.  Once in a while a baguette, or more rarely some delectable levain, will end up fairly stale.  Panzanella, pain perdu, croutons, and bread pudding are all excellent and frequent uses, but for this IMBB I chose to mimic a cooking technique that I recently saw a friend in Moscow use. 

I tried both a fried and baked version.

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Fried Stale Bread with Pseudo-Coddled Eggs

The moistened bread, coddled eggs, and butter created a lovely creamy texture and taste.

Serves 2

Ingredients

4 slices of stale French or Italian style bread (I used D'Amato's Home Style Filone)
1 C hot water
1 tsp salt
4 Tbl butter
4 eggs
1 Tbl shredded cheese (I used mozzarella)
1 Tbl grated Parmesan
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 Tbl greens or julienned vegetables
salt and pepper to taste.

Cut the bread into 1 inch slices.  Make a small depression in the center of each with your thumb.  Mix the hot water and salt in a bowl and dip each side of the bread slices into the water -- do not soak.  Place on a paper towel to get rid of the excess moisture.

Butter the sides without the depressions liberally and place into a frying pan over medium heat.  Break an egg into the depression of each slice.  The egg will spill over the sides.  Sprinkle on the rosemary. Cover and let cook for about 5 minutes.  In the last minute add a bit of each type of cheese to the tops.  The eggs are ready when the whites are opaque.  (You may cook them longer if you prefer more solid whites, though it is best to leave the yolks runny.)  Season to taste, top with greens or vegetables and serve warm.

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Stale Bread Baked with Eggs and Tomato Chutney

Serves 2

Ingredients

4 slices of stale French or Italian style bread (I used D'Amato's Home Style Filone)
2 eggs
4 Tbl butter
2 Tbl shredded Cheddar
4 Tbl homemade tomato sauce or tomato chutney.
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat over to 350F

Slice the bread into 1 inch sections.  Remove the very center from two of the slices.  Liberally butter one side of the intact slices.  Place buttered side down on a baking sheet, top each with one of the remaining slices, and break an egg into the holes in the top slices.

Bake for about 10 minutes, watching carefully.  When the whites are just set add the cheese and chutney to the tops of each.  Bake a further 3 or 4 minutes until toppings are warmed.  Season to taste.

May St. Café

Potato Chips and Neiman Marcus