Italian Recipes – Cutting and Soaking the Bread for Panzanella

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 10,522
    Culinary and Lifestyle Specialist Lisa Mushaw demonstrates how to cut and soak the bread for Panzanella.

    Lisa Mushaw

    A new generation doyenne on the rise who is staking her claim in the lofty arenas of international travel, tourism and the culinary arts, Lisa Mushaw is making transatlantic waves with TREASURES OF TUSCANY – AN EPICUREAN VOYAGE. TREASURES launched in November 2002 as a one-week vacation abroad with a twist – a cooking program where participants are given extensive exposure to Italian cuisine while discovering the physical beauty and traditions that are uniquely Tuscan. The idea was to offer “foodies” an opportunity to share and celebrate the cultural, personal and convivial rites that are the Tuscan Table, while basking in the charm of one of the world’s most exquisite and historic treasures. Lisa is a “natural taster” who cut her culinary teeth in the kitchen of relatives who excelled in the preparation of Creole cuisine. As a child, long before she knew the difference between battuto and affogato, she demonstrated a natural talent for discerning which ingredients were missing or used in excess in recipes. Her culinary gifts are no accident as her family roots include small business owners who made their living as caterers in New Orleans. A fervent student of food and wine, Lisa’s most recent accomplishment was completing a three year sommelier program. TREASURES OF TUSCANY – AN EPICUREAN VOYAGE is ideal for those with a passion for continental adventure who want to escape the drama of daily life and be transformed by a week in Florence – the center of the Renaissance, the Etruscan city of San Gimingnano or the medieval town of Lucca, creating memories that will last for years on end. Those who bask in attention to detail, pampering and personal service will want to join Lisa for the this extraordinary excursion to Toscana, the Italian province rich in beauty and character and the birthplace of much great Italian art, cuisine, and history.

    Lisa Mushaw: Hi! I am Lisa Mushaw owner of Treasures of Tuscany - An Epicurean Voyage.

    Today, we are preparing Panzanella. Panzanella is tomato and bread salad. The first thing that we are going to do is cut the bread.

    It is very important for this recipe that you use bread that is about three-four days old. This bread is three-four days old and it is very hard as you can see. So, when we cut it, its going to be a bit messy, but thats okay because once we finish with the recipe and all the other ingredients get in here its going to be the consistency that we wanted to be.

    Again, like I said earlier I was like to make cutting easy for myself so I am going to start cutting the bread in the middle, cutting straight down, do it to the center and then I am just going to cut slices, about an inch thick until I cut the entire loaf. The great thing about this recipe is especially in the summer time when your bread is getting old as this bread is and its very hard to cut, you can save it instead of wasting your bread, you can make the salad with it, and in Tuscany they never ever waste food. Theyve got a recipe for anything that is starting to turn bad, just to save it.

    What I am going to do is place some of this bread into the bowl just to move it out of the away while I continue the rest of the loaf.

    Like I said, it is a very tough bread.

    Alright, so once I place the bread into the bowl I am then going to cover the bread with enough water to soak up the bread, and then I am going to push this down and I will add more water as needed. We will let the bread soak for about 20 minutes and while that soaking we will go ahead and start to chop onions.