Monday, April 4, 2016
CROUTONS FOR SOUPS & SALADS
~ the kitchn
1/2 lb. slightly stale bread
1/4 c. olive oil, melted butter, or a combination of the two
Optional flavorings include - 1 clove garlic, 1 t. dried herbs, 1 T. finely minced fresh herbs, 1/2 c. parmesan (please click the above link to the kitchn for specific directions about those flavorings)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep bread according to the type of crouton you're making - thinly slice a baguette into 1/4-1/2 inch slices for French, pull rough pieces from a loaf for rustic, or use a knife to cube uniform croutons.
For French croutons, use a pastry brush to coat each side of the bread with the fat of your choice, oil and/or butter. For other croutons, drizzle a little of the oil and/or butter onto baking sheet. Add bread, bunching it close together in a single layer. Drizzle remaining oil and/or butter on top, add a big pinch of salt, then toss to coat. Spread croutons out so they aren't touching.
Bake for 5 minutes, flip French or toss rustic and cubed croutons, then bake another 5 minutes. Depending on how big your croutons are and how brown you want them, you may need to bake them a few minutes longer. Remove from oven, cool on pan, and store in airtight container for a few days.
Notes: There is a bunch of information and answers to various crouton questions in the link at the top of this post and I encourage you to check it out. I've used this recipe to make rustic croutons with amazing no-knead bread, olive oil, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. If your croutons soften up a bit before you use them, then just pop them in the oven or in a skillet for a few minutes to firm them back up.