Torta di Pane, or Bread Pie is a dessert I make when I have too much leftover bread and I've already recycled half of it making homemade breadcrumbs (which I flavor with different spices according to need. I will talk more about that in a future post). For your own fragrant Torta di Pane here's what's required:
500 g (1.1 lb) leftover bread
500 ml (2 1/2 cups) whole milk
4 eggs, beaten
200 g (1 cup) brown sugar or sugar substitute (quantity may vary according to taste)
1 cinnamon stick
1 shot glass of cognac
1 tbsp raisins, soaked
1 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
Preheat oven at 180° C (356° F).
Boil the milk with the bread and cinnamon until fluffy, stirring well with a wooden spoon (this mix tends to stick). Remove the cinnamon and whisk in the sugar, raisins, pine nuts or almonds, candied fruits, chocolate chips... whatever tickles your fancy. Stir in the cognac and remove from the stove. Set aside to cool, and then fold in the eggs.
Transfer the mixture to a buttered bread-pan and bake for 15 minutes or until when poked, the toothpick or raw spaghetti strand comes out clean. Serve sliced along with an energizing shot of espresso or dunked in a bowl of caffellatte for breakfast.