"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philipians 3:13b,14

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Homemade Croutons- Step by Step

I really like croutons. The yummy, larger crunchy ones. The ones that cost like 4 bucks at Trader Joe's for a teeny tiny bag (I could eat that whole bag while I'm making the salad). I also like them on soup. Sometimes if you add one delicious homemade element to an otherwise simple meal, it seems special. Like homemade bread. Or homemade croutons. :)

So here are the things you need to make them:

4-5 leftover slices of bread, butter, garlic, olive oil, and salt

I happened to have some leftover hot dog buns from my son's birthday party this weekend, so I used those!

I've also used whole wheat bread, Milton's bread, heels of bread that were leftover, and rye bread. They're all delicious.

So you want to cut the bread into 1" cubes. (sometimes if I'm making them to go on top of soup, I'll make them a bit larger, but these are for salad)

(I love seeing my wedding ring in photos. I love my wedding ring. Wade gave it to me on our 11th anniversary. He saved up his side job money all year to buy it.... he is awesome)

Then put the bread cubes in a large bowl (you want a big enough bowl that you can toss/stir the croutons and the topping without the bread cubes falling out because that's just annoying...)

I bought this cheapo plastic bowl for a buck at Walmart when we first got married. It has a crack in it and it's totally stained, but I love it!! It's the perfect size.

Ok, so now you want to make up the stuff to mix with the bread cubes. In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, melt 2 TB butter, then add 1/4 cup olive oil. Then add 2 cloves of garlic, either from the jar, or pressed (which I prefer). Last, add 1/2 tsp sea salt (if you're going to use regular table salt, only use 1/4 tsp). Give it all a quick whisk with a fork:

Then you want to pour this mixture over the bread crumbs, and gently stir/toss them together until all the cubes are fairly evenly coated:

Then you'll want to spread them in a single layer on a baking pan that has sides (I covered mine with foil, because you all saw how ugly my cookie sheets are in the hamburger bun post)

Then bake them at 375 for about 20-25 minutes. You want them to be golden brown, but be careful not to burn them, otherwise they'll taste gross. It helps them cook more evenly if you get a spatula and sort of flip them halfway, but I am usually too lazy to do that and just shake the cookie sheet a few times to get them kind of flipped.

IMPORTANT!!- as soon as you take them out of the oven, put them on paper towels to cool. If you leave them on the pan, or put them in a bowl with no paper towels, they will be soggy and disgusting, and you will be sad, because your house will smell all crouton-ey and delicious, and you will only have soggy bread cubes.

I use a 9x13 lined with paper towels:

Your whole house will smell so good!!

I made them to go on top of this salad:

They are also super yummy in soup- especially tomato or french onion..... mmmmm.......

Find some leftover bread and bake a batch!! :)

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