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What is Panade?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Panade is typically one of two different dishes: a thick paste used to bind other ingredients together or a baked casserole dish similar to traditional bread stuffing and French onion soup. While the word itself is used for both foods, the end result of each dish is quite different, with the former being used in other dishes and the latter being a complete dish. Both types of panade, however, are usually made with bread and can be excellent uses for leftover or stale bread.

When used to describe a moist, thick paste, panade is typically used to bind other ingredients together to make a final product. In this usage, it is often made from a combination of milk, flavored stock, egg, and butter along with some source of starch. While this starch can be rice, potato, or even wheat flour, white bread crumbs are often used in this preparation. The panade itself usually has about the same consistency as moist bread dough and is typically used to bind other ingredients together, such as shredded meat and diced vegetables, and can provide texture and flavor to a dish.

This type of panade paste is usually used sparingly, since an unbalanced portion of it when compared to the bound ingredients can overwhelm the other flavors and diminish the dish. The other type of panade, however, is a dish all on its own and requires no other binding ingredients or additives to be served. A panade that is its own dish is similar to stuffing in that it begins with bread that has been processed into crumbs or cut up into large cubes. This bread is the foundation of the dish and any sort of stale or leftover bread can be used, especially if it has hardened, since the process will soften the bread significantly.

The bread is used to cover the bottom of a baking dish or individual ramekins and other ingredients such as vegetables and shredded cheese are added. These are built upon each other in alternating layers of bread and vegetables until complete, and then broth is poured over the entire dish. The stale bread soaks up the broth, with much of the remaining broth being cooked out of the dish as it slowly bakes in an oven. This allows the final product to come out slightly soupy, with the top of the dish crispy and the bread itself taking on a smooth, velvety texture.

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Discussion Comments
By Denha — On Oct 01, 2011

You can find actual panade recipes online, but I think you don't even need one for this.I especially like that I've made versions with beans and vegetables that were totally vegan, and types with cheese that were vegetarian, while I have a friend who makes it to go with meat as well. It's really versatile.

By Catapult — On Sep 30, 2011

@feruze- I'm not sure about panade, but I love baking pumpkins in anything. I bet if you added some spinach and squash, that could be really tasty, provided the consistency was good.

By bear78 — On Sep 30, 2011

This is such a great idea to use up bread. My dad loves making bread, makes some every single day. So he always has couple of loafs of stale rustic bread around. I'm sure he would love this recipe!

When I saw the name 'panade' it sounded like a high-end French food or something. But it seems just like country cooking to me! I can't wait to try it out.

Which other vegetables would be good in panade? We have a lot of pumpkins right now, would that be a good ingredient?

By burcidi — On Sep 29, 2011

My grandmother calls panade 'the poor man's feast.' I know it's made with leftovers and looks a bit sloppy on the plate, but I can't image anyone not enjoying panade- poor or rich.

It's just the most comforting, warming food possible on a cold winter day. I would have panade once a week if I could. It's not hard to make but I generally wait until I have a good amount of stale bread at home because I love my panade with lots of bread and lots of cheese.

I'm also never stingy with the onions or broth because these make panade all the more tasty. These are the basic ingredients for me and then I pick one veggie like spinach or chard.

Panade is the best, I love it!

By candyquilt — On Sep 28, 2011

I use a really simple panade to close up and bind dough when I make stuffed pastries.

One of my favorite pastries is an Indian one called samosa. It is made from thinly rolled out dough stuffed with a cooked potato and peas stuffing. It's really a delicious food but it can be a challenge to shape the dough correctly and connect the open ends well so that it doesn't open up while it is frying.

For this, I make a really simple panade with just flour and water. The panade is not a dough, it has a much thinner, almost runny consistency. I brush on the panade on the open ends of the dough and bind them together with my fingers. It works really well.

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