Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Yesterday is the New Tomorrow

Bruschetta al Forno
Italian Bread Pudding Bruschetta

There is nothing that makes me sadder than to see good food go to waste- even "old" stale bread- like the Ciabatta you can see here in the photos... because, doesn't it look delicious?
How awful to throw away old bread- even if it turns dry and brittle and stale as quickly as an Italian white bread tends to do... especially when you consider that it could be turned into as wonderful a treat for you and your family or friends as a starter at a dinner or even a party...

2 days into doing the art-direction, on an extensive photo-shoot for baked goods, we had so much bread left-over that something had to be done. So the photographer share the bread amongst us- it was almost Biblical! But of course, living alone, there is also only so much I can make use of by myself. So I took 2 thirds of a Ciabatta home with me... and the idea of what to do with it came to me on my long tram-ride home through the snow...

I decided to create a cross between a british bread and butter pudding and an Italian bruschetta... something I could assemble quickly and easily and pop into the oven to take care of itself. To make it, I prepared a tomato sauce, from canned, diced tomatoes, to which I added plenty of chopped parsley, basil and chives and a little garlic powder in this case... in order to keep it mild, but also for the sake of speedy preparation! I seasoned the tomatoes with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar and stirred them well... and that was all there was to it!

I then cut the bread into 1" slices and layered it, with the tomato sauce, from back to front in my baking dish. And the next thing I did was to press down lightly on the bread so that it would soak up the tomato juices and soften up... much as a bread and butter pudding soaks up milk to become moist on the bottom and crispy on top.

The next ingredient I added, was a little finely chopped bacon here and there, and also just a little Mozzarella, torn into pieces and scattered around all over. I seasoned it with salt, pepper and a hint of nutmeg and then drizzled the bread lightly with olive oil, before popping it into my pre-heated oven, at 300°F for 10-15 minutes, until the bread was golden and crunchy on top and saucy and delicious down below! So We saved the bread and it saved the day! I recommend you give it a try too!

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