Sunday, August 12, 2012

French Bread Croutons

This week has been a week where I've been working on a lot of different things.  I've made a Pottery Barn knockoff curtain which I'll show you as soon as it is hung in my daughter's home.  Monday I got to go for a sew day which I told you about here, I made a French Wreath, painted another small chalk board almost like this one, painted a tool box that I'll show you later, bought some goodies at Goodwill for projects, sewed 4 borders for the pastel log quilt that I showed you here, and I cut all the pieces for another quilt that I will work on this week at a mini-retreat.  Yep, I'm going to the cool mountains to sew!  Diane, Joyce and I will be at Joyce's cottage while our husbands do other things.

A mini-retreat needs food, so one of the things I'm taking is some French Bread Croutons for the salad that will go with the Wild Rice Chicken Supreme casserole that I will be taking.  For breakfast the day I'm doing it will be Stuffed French Toast, but that's another story.

This is how I do my home made French Bread Croutons.  The store kind are okay, but they are usually hard as rocks and I like a little softness in my croutons.

This is what you need to make them.

That's it.  French Breach (I buy what my grocery store calls rustic French bread), Extra Virgin Olive Oil and what ever spices you want to use.  I usually just use garlic powder.

Slice the bread.  I use an electric knife which makes it much quicker to do.  Of course, you could buy pre-sliced French bread, but I like the look of the uneven sizes of cubes you eventually get.

Slice across the slices.  I usually do a stack at a time, not slice at a time, though this photo is of just a couple of slices stacked.

Then you will make the slices into cubes by cutting the across the strips.

You will put the cubes in a bowl and toss with 2 to 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle in as much of the spice as you would like.  I like just a hint, so I don't use a lot.  If your bread is more than a day old, you may want to use more olive oil as it will absorb it quickly.

Place the prepared cubes on cookie sheets in a single layer.  For a whole loaf you will need at least two cookie sheets.  Bake these in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes, checking and stirring them around a couple of times.  You want them toasted lightly, not burned.  You could hurry this process by putting them sheet at a time under a broiler, but if you do watch them VERY closely or they will burn before you know it!

Let the cubes cool on the sheets once they are done.

Store the croutons in an air tight container or a sealed plastic bag.

These would look so cute as a gift with a ribbon tied around the top.

The croutons are great on Caesar salad or floating on top soup.  And they are delicious -- even to snack on and so very easy to make.  Forget the store bought and make your own, they taste and crunch so much better, too.

Hope you are having a wonderful Sunday.  We are celebrating our daughter's birthday with her today and giving her the red ticking striped Pottery Barn knock off curtain.  You'll see and hear about that in a later post.



1 comment:

Shabby Friends said...

Thanks for the recipe Lois. I'm making tacos tonight but will certainly print, clip and save your technique.