Food, Home & Lifestyle

Stale Bread: Breadcrumbs & Sourdough Wheat Pesto

Apollonia Poilâne

Lesson time 10:44 min

Apollonia replaces cheese and pine nuts with breadcrumbs and walnuts in this at once creative and surprisingly true-to-form take on pesto.

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Topics include: Breadcrumb Pesto · Plating


[MUSIC PLAYING] INSTRUCTOR: When you have a couple of slices left of your bread, it's stale, and you're tempted to discard it, put it in a blender or a food processor to turn it into breadcrumb. My absolute favorite recipe with breadcrumb is a pesto. If you toast breadcrumb enough, it'll have a little bit of a cheesy flavor to it. You might not even notice that this is not the traditional pesto, and that's because the textures and flavors are really similar. I'm going to show you four types of breadcrumb to illustrate the fact that any of the breads we bake in this class can be turned into crumb that might find one use or another. So we have one crumb here that's brioche. It's very light. It's very thin. It's the type of crumb that you can use as a little topping to give a little crunch to a recipe. This is a pain de mie breadcrumb. It lends itself to both sweet and savory uses. This would be the wheat sourdough breadcrumb. It's coarser, and you'll have a harder time going and bringing it to a really thin crumb. But bear with me, because this one is a great one for a few other recipes. And this is the rye that I'm going to put side by side with the wheat. It's darker. It's more red-brown, whereas this one is golden, blonder. Test them and try them, and figure out your food pairings. If you are in need of breadcrumb and your bread is too fresh, slice the loaves. Dry it out a little bit in the oven so that it's hard-- [HEAVY TAPPING] --versus-- [LIGHT TAPPING] --and removing the crust. Now, it'll be harder with the slices that you've toasted. You can create these big chunks. Break those into just coarse pieces, and put them in your food processor or blender, and pulse it until you have the desired consistency. I remove the crust here because I don't want to have the coarseness of the crust as an additional flavor. You can keep the crust. But in that case, I would grind the crumb much thinner, almost semolina texture, so that we can diffuse the more well-baked parts of it. Don't do it all in one go. Pulse it on different speeds so that it can work easier into a breadcrumb. I start off with a really easy setting so that I can get a sense of how easily the bread is going to turn into breadcrumbs. And I slowly work my way up. There's no absolute here. It's really by feel, just trying to stop it regularly because it's really the start and stop that creates momentum and breaks down the bigger pieces. Once you've turned the breadcrumb into the desired consistency, I like to have it in this grainy-- it's not especially regular, but it's small enough that I can coat some fish sticks in it, or I can use it as a little topping to texture, say, some vegetables, or even some meat. Another option is to flavor this breadcrumb. Every bread has a different flavor to it, and adding spices can boost certain flavor notes that we have in the different breads. So in this breadcrumb, I'm going to just add a little bit of allspice h...

About the Instructor

As a third-generation baker and CEO of the renowned Parisian bakery Poilâne, Apollonia Poilâne keeps time-honored traditions alive with every loaf. Now she’s sharing the joy of making bread from scratch with her recipes and hands-on demonstrations. Learn how to make your own starter and a variety of French breads, including rustic wheat, rye, and brioche. Taste, smell, and feel your way to fresh, warm bread at home.

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Apollonia Poilâne

Poilâne CEO Apollonia Poilâne teaches the renowned Parisian bakery’s philosophy and time-tested techniques for baking rustic French breads.

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