Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Crouton is French for "little toast". That's all it is, toasted bread. But what kind of bread you choose and what you add to it makes all the difference. Caesar salad? Garlic. Italian dressing? Oregano. Soup topping? Depends on the soup.
So here's a basic how-to.
1. Slice bread of choice into cubes or tear into small pieces. These should be bite-sized, so no larger than 1" on any given side. Place in a bowl or on a sheet pan and let them get a little stale. This can be an hour on a dry day or overnight when it's humid. I found Princess eating out of the bowl an hour later and was very glad this batch was not for company.
2. Preheat oven to 350º. Melt a little butter, only 1 or 2 Tb, and pour over bread. Use your fingers to make sure all sides of the bread are covered and there isn't one piece soaking wet. Sprinkle with any spice that is appropriate to your intended use. For these, I used salt, white pepper, and thyme. That would go with my turkey and pumpkin soup.
3. Spread pieces evenly on a sheet and bake until toasted and crisp. Check and stir every 10 minutes, less when they get close to what you want. Allow to cool slightly before serving, so you can check to make sure they really are dry. Store unused croutons in a sealed container for up to a week.
Difficulty rating π