May 22, 2009

Torta di Pane

Recovering leftover foods has been the leitmotif of the recipes described in this post here, this one here, and this recent one here. It has become somewhat of an obsession. In these financially shaky times, recycling food is among the few viable options for frugality and palatable thrift.

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 flavour 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 cappuccino for breakfast.


  1. MMMM1 I can almost smell the cinnamon (and cognac!). I love these kinds of rustic recipes using simple or leftover ingredients. It's the type of cooking I learned from my own mother and grandmother, too.

    Thank you for this recipe. It's one I'm definitely going to try soon!

  2. agree with angela this one smells great. hope you and E have a great weekend!

  3. This sounds delicious, rustic and genuine. I just rediscovered your blog. It's lovely.

    Brian are you following me.

  4. Yumm, yumm. You clever lady, you. I noticed in the recipe lists pasta as possible ingredient too.

  5. One of my faves, Lola.Yummeee!I have been craving it for about a week now, but too busy to make it. Just send some over please? xx♥

  6. This sounds amazing - it's a bit like bread pudding, but it appeals to me far more. I will definitely be trying this!

  7. Mmmmm, a bread pudding of sorts. Smother me in comfort and let me eat my way to happiness.

    Have a good weekend, amica mia.

  8. You took bread and milk and made a recipe out of it? Is there anything you can't create? If I had bread and milk I would be heading to the market to buy something to eat. :)

  9. Yum! This reminded me of my Grandma years ago, using every last bit of every ingredient to make amazing dishes!

  10. What a great idea. I love it and will have to try it.

  11. Sounds as wonderful as all of your recipes do! I can't usually try them since I'm intolerant to both wheat and dairy :-( Do you ever cook anything without those ingredients?

  12. I haven't had dinner yet and now I am planning breakfast. So delicious.

  13. That sounds really good. I think I'll try it-if I ever have any leftover bread. :)

  14. That sounds delicious and a bit similar to the 'pain perdu' dessert I've sometimes seen - and a million miles away from stodgy heavy English bread and butter pudding

  15. Yumm, Bread Pie, new to me with cognac, very interesting! Grazie

  16. It's like a twist on traditional bread pudding. Sounds really good. Love these kinds of simple foods for breakfast.

  17. This loaf of bread looks comforting. Nothing is more satisfying to me than baking a loaf of bread. I can only imagine what this dessert tastes like made from that loaf.


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