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X Italian Vegetable and Side Dishes
Golden Bread (with eggs and water)
Originated from: Lazio, Italy
Occasion: Any time
Contributed by: Taken from "Simple Italian Cookery," by Antonia Isola (Harper and Brothers, 1912)

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Salt, Pepper
Lard for frying


"Choose bread which is elastic, but has no holes in it.

Remove the crust and cut it in slices about one inch

thick, and from these slices cut little pieces about

three inches long and about one inch wide. Trim

them off well, so they will not be ragged or uneven.

Put these pieces into a bowl and throw on them some

boiling water, then remove them immediately and

throw them into a big bowl of cold water. This operation should be done quickly, so as to make the bread

feel the impression of heat and cold, one directly after

the other. Then take the bread between the hands

and gently squeeze out the water without breaking

the pieces or deforming them. Place them on a nap-

kin to dry. Then dip them in egg which has been

beaten up and seasoned with salt and pepper. Allow

the egg to soak well into the bread. Fifteen minutes before

serving put a frying-pan on with a quantity of lard,

and as soon as the lard is lukewarm put in the pieces

of bread, turn them as soon as they harden a little on

one side. The bread must fry very slowly, and should

remain on the fire at least ten minutes, so that the heat

can penetrate gradually into the middle and make it

light. This bread to be successful should be hollow

inside like a fritter when finished. When the bread

has taken a good golden color, remove from the lard,

drain it on a napkin, add a little salt, and serve very



This recipe was taken from the copyright-free cookbook, "Simple Italian Cookery," compiled by Antonia Isola (1912). "Golden Bread" can be found on page 50, in the "Meat" section. Actually, this recipe is part of a larger dish titled "Fried Sweetbreads, Croquettes, Liver, Etc. -- Fritto Misto alia Romana." The author notes: "Golden Bread, Brains, Sweetbreads, Croquettes of Chicken and Veal and Eggs, Calf's Liver and Pumpkin ? all these different ingredients should be fried each in its own manner as follows, a small quantity of each, and served all together on one platter with slices of lemon........" P.S. I tried this recipe and found that even though it is very similar to "French toast" which is made with bread, milk and eggs, it is not nearly as tasty. The water used in the recipe does diminish the taste of the egg, and gives it a more delicate flavor -- one almost has the feeling that one is eating an omelette rather than fried bread -- still, it doesn't quite have the rich taste of "French toast." Prior to World War II Italians used very little milk in their everyday meals, so it is not surprising then that they did not include it in this recipe. Water was often used to make dried-out bread edible. Back then Italians did not waste food..... Photo and notes: Mary Melfi.

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