A Loaf’s Longevity

Appears in

One Good Dish

By David Tanis

Published 2013

  • About

I’m always on the lookout for excellent bakeries, the kind that produce crisp baguettes and rustic sourdoughs, the good honest loaves. Yet while I enjoy eating bread fresh from the oven, I value, too, the loaf as it ages, on its way to becoming quite another ingredient to inspire a meal. Old bread? You may be surprised how flavorful it can be. At home I always seem to have a cupboard full of aging bread. Day-old bread makes the best toast and crostini, but older (some would say staler) bread can be sliced a bit thinner for another day or two, especially a whole-grain loaf, and still be delicious in its own way. The driest loaves can become croutons for soups, or even the soup itself, like pappa al pomodoro, or become a juicy panzanella salad. Did I mention bread crumbs, fine or coarse, and migas, fried in olive oil? The point is to use the whole loaf—fresh, day-old, or hard and dry.