Massimo’s Bread is Gold

Realized during one of the first services at Refettorio Ambrosiano, Bread is Gold is much more than a recipe, it’s an ode to undervalued ingredients. It’s Food for Soul’s starting point, what we think of when we are asked why Cooking is An Act of Love.


“Every morning over breakfast my brothers and I fought for the leftover pieces of bread from the previous night to dip in warm milk with a splash of coffee. We called this mess zuppa di latte, milk soup. But how could I have known at the time that Bread is gold would take on a much deeper meaning than the recipe itself?  That a recipe would become the anthem under which we chanted the unsung values of recovering recipes and all those discarded, undervalued, and neglected ingredients that have always played a central role in the Italian kitchen.” – Massimo Bottura

Refettorio Ambrosiano opened its doors on the 28th of May 2015 and thanks to the sustained work of Caritas Ambrosiana, five years later, it continues to serve guests. It was Food for Soul’s first step towards a new consciousness as we learned that the most difficult situations can often inspire action, and that a meal can become a moment of celebration, able to unite, revive and renew. Most importantly, able to make people feel welcome and cared for. 

In looking for solutions to fight food waste, we found out that a nutritious meal served in a beautiful and welcoming environment can also change and strengthen communities. Because cooking is, indeed an act of love.

“Bread is Gold is a metaphor for giving value to the simplest things in life that we often overlook. Such as the milk soup recipe I and many other Italian kids grew up with, or the endless recipes that use day-old bread created by the chefs at Refettorio Ambrosiano. Bread is Gold is a way at looking at the world, looking at your pantry and finding inner beauty in the humblest ingredient.”

Massimo Bottura

Bread Is Gold By Massimo Bottura


  • 100 gr stale bread
  • 10 g edible gold powder


  • 100 gr stale bread 
  • 100 gr brown sugar
  • 800 ml milk
  • 3 tbl heavy cream


  • 150 ml heavy cream
  • 150 g brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 150 ml milk


  • 100 g bread,
  • 4 tbl brown sugar



Preheat the oven to 180°Ca. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange the bread on the baking sheet 2 cm apart.

Bake until crispy and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Let cool. Sprinkle with the gold powder.


In a medium pan, heat the bread and brown sugar over medium heat and cook until caramelized, about 3 minutes.

Add half the milk and simmer until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Add the remaining milk and the cream, bring to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve two times. Cover and refrigerate. Once cold, whisk until stiff peaks form and transfer to a pastry (piping) bag.


In a small pot, bring the cream to a boil over medium heat. In a medium pan, melt the brown sugar over medium heat until completely melted, about 3 minutes. Add the warmed cream and salt, remove from the heat, and whisk. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean pan. Add the milk and generous 200 ml water. Return to the heat and bring to 40°C over medium heat, then simmer for 2 minutes until it reaches 80°C. Remove from the heat and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Transfer to an ice-cream machine and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If you don’t have an ice-cream machine, freeze the mixture until hard enough to scoop.)


In a medium pan, heat the bread and brown sugar over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the sugar caramelizes and coats the bread, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let cool. Store in an airtight container.


Place a scoop of the salted caramel ice cream on each plate and top with 5 caramel croutons, 1 tablespoon bread and sugar cream, 5 more caramel croutons, and 1 more tablespoon bread and sugar cream. 

Garnish with 1 bread crisp.