Friday, January 28, 2011

Let's Make Croutons!

Don't throw away the bread that is going stale. Use it for bread crumbs or CROUTONS! Great for salads, and much better than the ones that come in a box, homemade croutons are great in salads, as snacks, in soups...where ever a good crouton is warranted. They're simple to make, and you can make them to taste.

Here is a picture log of the last batch I made, just a few days ago.

 Start with simple ingredients. Cubed bread...slightly stale, olive oil, unsalted butter and a mix of herbs and seasonings of your choice. I used oregano, basil, salt and thyme.

I first melted the butter in the olive oil. How much you will use of each will depend on how much bread you have. I had about 1/2 of a small loaf of bread cubed and I ended up using about 1T+ olive oil and 3 pats of butter. When melted, add all seasonings and give a quick stir. I used anywhere from a 1/2t to 1T of seasonings. Again you will adjust amounts and seasonings used to taste. Then stir in the bread cubes and continue to stir until coated. Continue to stir so that bread browns, but does not burn. At this point, it is not too late to add additional seasoning, so it is important to taste your work!

 When croutons are seasoned and browned to acceptability, remove from pan on to a surface where they can cool  and dry a bit further. Blot any extra oil. When cool and further dried, store in zip bag or other container. As these croutons will not be dried out like commercial types are, these should be stored in a cool place, or even refrigerated. You may also spread out on a cookie sheet and put in low oven to remove further moisture.


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