Many of our favorite recipes have come about as a way to use up leftovers. Nowadays we are so used to an overabundance of food in large parts of the world, that eating too much is more of a problem (in those parts of the world) than having too little too eat. Not so long ago, this was not the case, which meant that all food was precious and leftovers were always used up to the last crumb. If not for human consumption, than for the pigs or chickens.
There are many recipes to use up stale bread, such as these wonderful gnocchi made from stale bread and served with beans. One of the best known recipes to use up stale bread is French toast. The bread is soaked in a mixture of eggs and milk, fried in butter, and then served with sugar and cinnamon. This post takes French toast to the next level by cooking the bread with eggs and milk sous-vide before frying it in butter. This gives the bread a luxurious texture, a bit like a thick pancake. Sous-vide French toast is perhaps a bit complicated for breakfast, but it would also make a nice dessert. Please note that for the sous-vide preparation, more eggs are used than for regular French toast. The eggs are needed to get the special texture.
4 slices of stale bread
125 ml (1/2 cup) milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
butter for frying
sugar to serve
My presentation wasn’t that great, but this riff on tiramisù from Puglia is very tasty with crumbled amaretti cookies, espresso, amaretto, and homemade ricotta. If you’re ever in Puglia, make sure to eat at Antichi Sapori in Montegrosso, which is where I had something similar for dessert.