Tuesday, September 2, 2008

101: Croutons

A great frugal use for old bread bits, so you don't just toss them. (bread pudding, french onion soup, bread crumbs or strata would also be good uses). If I had some leftover "good" bread and it's gone a bit stale, I'll throw it in the freezer until I'm ready to use it. A good crouton makes all the difference in an otherwise boring salad (or a pureed soup!)

Cut with a knife into cubes, or just rip your stale bread:

Pour in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil (or melted butter) and toss until each piece has at least a bit of oil. At this you can add seasoning. Salt is a must. Other things you might add (just one or two): pepper, paprika, chili powder, thyme, oregano, garlic salt or garlic powder, powdered parmesan, rosemary.
Bake at 400 or 450, but don't leave the kitchen. I ended up letting them cook about five minutes on one side, pushed them around with a heatproof spatula, and then another five minutes or so. You want them to be lightly browned, but mostly just dry. Let them sit out for a couple of hours to COMPLETELY cool. Store in a plastic bag or airtight container.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post! I love homemade croutons.