Inevitably, we always have bread on the verge of going stale in our kitchen. Now that I am passing a brief spell in France, every morning I enjoy the clichéd French ritual of buying a fresh baguette. I can emphatically tell you which boulangerie has the best baguette a l’ancienne, pain de campagne and galette des rois in a one, five and ten mile radius. (I will also add that one should never buy bread or pastry at Sesame or Carrefour!) Suffice it to say, we eat a lot of bread in our house and unsurprisingly there is always some sort of bread product threatening to go bad on us. If there exists such as thing as an unforgivable sin in Napoli, it would be throwing bread away. More importantly, stale bread soaked in egg is so versatile (for both sweet and savory dishes) that there really is no reason to ever toss it.
Rock hard, stale bread is brought to life in countless recipes by soaking it in egg. The French famously created ‘pain perdu,’ or ‘lost bread’ to make what we call French toast in America. In our house, we prefer savory breakfast items so I regularly make this version of Croque Monsieur for weekend brunch.