Sweet Panzanella Recipe
Give stale bread a sweet new life by toasting it in a butter-sugar mixture. Then toss it with some juicy raspberries in this twist on a traditional bread salad, giving panzanella a place in the dessert course.
Game plan: If you don’t have stale bread on hand, toast the bread cubes in a 300°F oven until they are crisp and dry but not browned, about 15 minutes.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
- 6 tablespoons packed dark muscovado or dark brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 (1-pound) loaf stale crusty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 8 to 9 cups)
- 2 cups fresh raspberries (about 8 ounces)
- 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
- Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of the sugar and the salt and cook, whisking occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to bubble, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Add the bread cubes and stir until they are evenly coated in the sugar mixture. Pour the mixture onto a baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.
- Bake, stirring every 5 minutes, until the bread cubes are golden brown and toasted, about 15 to 20 minutes total. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the bread cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes.
- While the bread is cooling, combine half of the raspberries and the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher until the berries release their juices and are broken up.
- Add the bread cubes, pecans, and remaining whole raspberries and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.