Les Trois Chênes

Here in France we eat the local baguettes fresh and certainly on the same day as it is bought. So what to do with the left overs? This blog is devoted to the reuse of old bread to create gourmet dishes and to collect recipes for stale bread, traditional and new, from around the world. Why throw away good food when you can transform it into wonderful sweet and savoury dishes?

Feel free to send me any ideas and recipes.

Situated in the Limousin, the heart of hidden France, we run painting courses from our old French farmhouse, and offer Bed & Breakfast and self-catering holiday accommodation. We grow as much of our own food as possible, serve eggs fresh from our own hens and honey from our bees for breakfasts and evening meals. We love France, we love art and we love good food & wine. We would love to share this with you.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pain Perdu Quick and Easy

Pain perdu is a favourite with kids in France. It means litererally, Lost Bread, and the French make it into a sweet dish. A friend from Amsterdam says that they call it wentelteefje (rolling bitch) soak in milk/egg mixture, fry in butter, serve with sugar and cinnamon. Easy as that!

I had Pain Perdu served with ice cream as a dessert in a restaurant here in Limousin.

It is know in England as well. My great grandmother, who came from the north, used to make it for my mother, but as a savoury dish - just miss out the sugar, add salt and pepper.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bread Skills

Bread Skills BBC Radio 4

Sheila Dillon celebrates the rise of real bread.

The majority of Britain's bread is highly processed, packed with additives and often made with cost, rather than quality, in mind. But countless bakers, amateur and professional, are fighting back.

Corny Bread Jokes!

  • DanDare6 instead of 'old bread new tricks' how about 'using your loaf' no i didn't think so either-your's is much better!
  • DanDare6 .. very corny!
  • Lestroischenes It's a 'Loaf Affair'

Summer pudding

This is not technically a use for stale bread, as fresh bread should be used, but perhaps, if you have some left-over sliced bread which would otherwise go stale, then this is a super way to use it up. They also freeze well, always useful.

Summer Pudding Recipe

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bread and Butter Pudding

  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Raisins
  • Sugar (brown if possible)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Nutmeg

Bread pudding is an old favourite and nothing could be easier to make. Simply slice your old bread, cut off the crusts if you like (traditionally they did this), cut into triangles or other attractive shapes, arrange in an oven proof dish in layers, sprinkling each layer with sugar
. Beat the eggs with the milk using about 1 egg for every quater pint of milk. Dust over with a generous amount of nutmeg and put into the oven until the centre is firm. Cook in a low oven.

Why Waste Bread?

I admit that frugality and old fashioned miserliness is not terribly fashionable at the moment, but being green, saving the world and eating fabulous food is. One of my hobby horses has always been food waste. This was probably partly due to being brought up by a post-war mother and continually being told to 'clean my plate', and being reminded that if I didn't want the food that was put in front of me, there were many starving children in the world who did. Well, of course, being a child all this was water off a ducks back. I only wished that they would send the wretched dinner to Africa or wherever.

It was when I moved to the Limousin, the rural heartland of France, and started to explore the traditional cuisine of this region that I was struck by the number of recipes that specified 'stale bread' as a main or essential ingredient. This was a very poor area of France, and the people who lived here were mostly farmers. They knew how hard it was to grow, harvest, store and cook the food on the table and I expect very little went to waste. This set me thinking. Mostly, I had given the scraps from the table and old bread to 1. The Dog 2. The Cat 3. The Hens 4. The Geese 5. The Sheep - in that order, but really, it doesn't do to feed the animals on perfectly good (if not perfectly fresh) baguettes!

When, after several years of building and restoring, we opened Les Trois Chênes Bed & Breakfast the problem was compounded. More bread that has to be served absolutely fresh, and more waste. So this blog is devoted to uses and recipes from all over the world designed to transform old bread into delicious gourmet dishes.

I would be delighted to receive your ideas, comments and recipes.