Wednesday, June 27, 2012
I personally don't love croutons, because I'm not a fan of crunchy bread in any form. I remember that during my childhood time in Germany I would poke a hole in my kaiser roll and dig out the soft center, leaving the shell, which was totally not worth eating, in my opinion. Anyway, I do actually like homemade croutons, because I keep them a little chewy. I eat two or three and I'm good for the next six months.
Handsome, of course, loves them and will steal them off the tray or out of the pan! Fortunately, they're easy to make, and it's a method rather than a recipe.
Start with "day-old" bread. That just means you don't want really fresh bread, because it's too soft to cut easily, and it won't crisp up into croutons as well. You can use any kind of bakery whole bread loaves, though I like Italian or French baguettes. Multigrain, wheat, pumpernickel, sourdough or white all work well.
Seasonings - I like a mixture of garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. The amounts will vary according to your taste and how many croutons you're making.
Olive oil - you'll want to moisten the bread, but not soak it.
Cut your bread into bite-size pieces.
If you're making a lot of croutons, line a baking sheet with foil. Spread out the bread cubes and drizzle with olive oil, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with seasonings, and continue to toss until evenly coated. Bake at 375° for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch them carefully, and remember that they'll firm up a bit while cooling.
If you just need a small batch, heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add a small amount of seasonings. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Drizzle in more olive oil and seasonings if needed. Stir occasionally until the croutons are golden brown. This should only take 5-6 minutes.