Yes, this post is about bread; but it's also, and more importantly, about the wonderful pastry chef community that I have so luckily dropped into. Gone are the days of secret recipes and guarded ideas. I know I for one could not be as creative were it not for the unselfish brainstorming I've had with other chefs, and I hope vice versa.
We don't like to waste at the restaurant, especially waste our own bread which we lovingly shape and bake everyday. One Saturday, we produced WAY more bread than we needed, so come the following Monday I was a little stumped as to how to use all of it up in a more creative fashion than the standard bread pudding. In these situations, I've lately been turning to the Twittersphere, picking the brains of some very talented chefs & foodies. The response was so prolific, I almost wondered if all my leftover bread would even be enough to try all the suggestions that were coming to me. More than a couple chefs responded with a genius notion to grind the stale bread into a "flour" and use it as per a normal flour. Now this idea was more useful than any recipe that could have been given to me, opening up an infinite number of possibilities and usages, allowing me to adapt this "flour" to anything containing real flour.
My first attempt to utilize this new flour is shown above. A bread macaron shell, sandwiching a filling of salted peanut butter and a honey banana jam. The Elvis Macaron, as it were.
Other suggestions widely varied, but so many of them were helpful and inspiring:
- Panzanella (Bread Salad)
- French Toast / Bread Ice Cream
- Charlotte Russe
- Summer Pudding / Trifle
- Toast Panna Cotta / Mousse / Flan
- Toast Oil
- Buttery Bread Crumb Coated Cheesecake
- Bread Pound Cake
And to those who followed the stream silently, I hope these ideas inspired you too.