How To Make Croutons for Soups & Salads


Croutons are pieces of bread that have been toasted, either in a frying pan or the oven, until they are crisp and golden brown. They can be tossed into green salads, sprinkled on top of soups and casseroles, crushed over cooked vegetables such as asparagus or broccoli, and used as the base for stuffings or savory bread puddling.

It's best, but not 100% necessary, to use slightly stale bread for your croutons. In fact, croutons are an excellent way to use up any leftover bread. But if you have only fresh bread, that's ok, too. You can use white, whole wheat bread.

Croutons can be made in all shapes and sizes.

Ingredients
A few slices of slightly stale or fresh bread
A Tablespoon of olive oil or melted butter or a combination of the both
1/8 Teaspoon Salt 


Optional flavorings 

1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon dried herbs such as oregano, basil OR
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, finely minced
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

Method
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Cut the bread into cubes according to the size that you wish. Try to make uniform bread cubes.




 On a baking tray, add the bread, bunching it close together in a single layer. Drizzle oil/buter on the top, add a pinch of salt, and toss lightly to coat.




Spread the croutons out so that they are no longer touching.

Place the baking tray in the oven and grill for about 5 minutes. Remove the tray, carefully toss and stir croutons (or turn over the croutons). Bake another 5 minutes and check for doneness. Depending on the size of the bread and how browned you want them, they may need another 5 minutes or so.

When the croutons are done to your liking, remove them from the oven and cool on the pan. If not using right away, store croutons for a few days in an airtight container.





Notes :
For garlic croutons, finely grate a clove of garlic using a fine grater straight into the olive oil or melted butter a few minutes before using. If you can do this an hour in advance so that the garlic really infuses the oil/butter, even better.

For herbed croutons, sprinkle on your dried herb of choice when adding the salt. For fresh herbs, add them when tossing after the first 5 minutes of baking.

For parmesan croutons, add the parmesan when tossing after and nearly at the end of baking.


If you want to use a frying pan on the stove top, be sure to stir and toss the bread frequently so all sides become crisp and golden. You may need a little extra oil as well.  

Labels: Breads, Soup,Salads, Lentils, Healthy, Vegan 


sneha datar
sneha datar

Happy Home-maker and culinary enthusiast.

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