Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Crunchy Croutons

Photo By: By Money Mi$ty

Photo By: krisalis903

Croutons are a fantastic crunchy addition to any salad or soup and make a lovely looking garnish. They are as simple as can be to make and a great way to use up older bread that you may be on the verge of wasting. You can experiment with the spices you use to make the croutons as there are many variations, but the following recipe is a pretty standard one and will take no time at all.

See the full video for making croutons HERE with Rachel Edelman and our friends at About.Com

Prepare the Crouton Bread
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Start with a firm bread such as a baguette. Thinly cut the bread into slices. For something a bit fancier, cut the bread at an angle. You can also cut it into cubes. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet. Line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil for an easy clean up.
Crouton Seasonings
Take 4 tablespoons of melted butter add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder 1 tablespoon of dried parsley flakes 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese a pinch of salt and pepper Mix all of the ingredients well.
Season the Bread now, dip a pastry brush into the butter mixture. Dab each slice with the brush to cover the entire top of the bread. Place small cubes of bread into a bowl. Put the butter mixture into the bowl and gently toss the cubes with the butter.
Bake the croutons:
Arrange the cubes on the baking sheet in a single layer. Put the pans into the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Thicker slices may need a longer bake time. If you like softer croutons, use a shorter bake time. When the croutons are dried and slightly brown, remove them from the oven. Remove the croutons from the pan and store in an airtight container. Serve the croutons with your favorite soup or salad.

Crouton: Wikipedia

A crouton is a small piece of dry or fried bread, often seasoned, that is used to add texture and flavour to salads, notably the Caesar salad, and as an accompaniment to soups, while some prefer to eat them alone, as a snack food. The word crouton is derived from the French croûte, meaning "crust".
Making croutons is relatively simple. Typically the cook cuts bread into small cubes and fries them lightly in butter or vegetable oil, to give them a buttery flavour and crunchy texture. A healthier option is to bake the cubes of bread in an oven until dry.
A dish prepared à la Grenobloise has a garnish of small croutons along with brown butter, capers, parsley, and lemon.

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