A local grocery store carries a brand of fresh-baked Semolina bread I like very much. They'll usually only put out a few loaves, so when I see one, I grab it. I keep it in the paper wrapping to preserve the crisp crust. (The wrapper also reminds me of something my grandmother would have had around her kitchen from a loaf she purchased at a Chicago bakery.) Needless to say, it goes stale in a few days. No matter. That's when I have it for breakfast. Yes, breakfast. Don't turn up your nose!
This only works with a quality artisan bread that adapts well to soaking up the liquid. Anything else will turn into a paste.
- Stale, artisan bread, broken apart
- Olive oil (use a good quality olive oil)
- Salt and pepper
- Boiling water
- Onion powder (optional but recommended)
Place your stale bread in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and just a pinch or two of onion powder. Now begin pouring the boiled water over the bread. It will immediately begin to soak through like a dried sponge. Turn pieces over and drizzle with more hot water. Heel ends require a bit more soaking. Stir. Taste for seasonings. If crusts are still hard, add a bit more water so it sits in the bottom of the bowl and turn bread crusts so they rest in it. Break apart and enjoy.
With a bit of grated hard cheese, this makes for a quick lunch. It's warm and filling. Sometimes I'm tempted to use milk, sugar and cinnamon, and for children, that would be great. But I enjoy the plain simplicity so much, I never deviate from the original plan. Enjoy, and remember your grandma!
Below is a video showing how Clara from "Great Depression Cooking" makes this: