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.
- 1Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- 2Melt 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.
- 3Add 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.
- 4Bake, 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.
- 5While 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.
- 6Add the bread cubes, pecans, and remaining whole raspberries and gently toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.