Appears in

Apart from its importance at table, bread, in many of the recipes in this book, has an important place: Stale or completely dried out, it accompanies soups; crumbs, soft or dried, are used for certain gratins and for breading; soaked and squeezed dry, it is a major element in other gratins and a minor but vital one in many pâtés and stuffings; it is cooked crisp in butter for croutons and croûtes and baked in puddings.

For our purposes, the best of American breads are less than ideal because of over-sweetness and their much-admired soft and tender texture. The long loaves marketed as French bread in American bakeries leave much to be desired, as do the plastic-wrapped, preservative-drenched baguettes flown in from France, but I have found very good bread in Italian neighborhood bakeries in New York—large, round, crusty loaves reminiscent at the same time of Tuscan country loaves and of French peasant bread.