Panzanella: how stale is too stale?
August 22, 2022 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Thinking about making panzanella for the first time, and wondering what level of 'staleness' is correct or optimal for this recipe. I tend to have some sourdough slices that I don't get to by their date but are still perfectly good to eat... how long should I let them sit before using them?
posted by isauteikisa to Food & Drink (4 answers total)
Best answer: IMO, no offense to nonnas and other traditionalists: You’re actually better off baking out the last bit of moisture instead of letting it go completely stale on the counter. Stale and dry are two different things, and dry can produce the better result.
posted by supercres at 10:21 AM on August 22, 2022 [13 favorites]

If you're eating the panzanella the same day you make it, the panzanella doesn't need to be very stale. I've made it with a good hearty bread that I didn't dry out, and it was still great. With a more stale bread, your salad may need a bit more time to soak into the bread.
posted by hydra77 at 11:10 AM on August 22, 2022 [1 favorite]

I've made it with fresh bread that I just medium-toasted on a cookie sheet in the oven, then rubbed with garlic and tore up.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 5:01 PM on August 22, 2022

When we make panzanella we make croutons out of whatever bread we have lying around. Roasting them in the oven is probably a better way to do it, but generally we just fry up the cubes in a cast iron skillet.
posted by thecaddy at 6:02 AM on August 23, 2022 [1 favorite]

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