Monday, June 6, 2011

Homemade Croutons

Okay - so it isn't Saturday, and this wasn't cooked in a crock pot, but it is a recipe, and one my family and assorted friends love.
I know I told you about the vultures devouring my homemade bread, and how I was concerned about having enough left to make croutons. My concerns were well founded. I did have to make another four loaves of bread before I could make croutons, but I finally managed to get some set aside for a day or two so it would dry a bit before I started. That's what you need; day old bread, or preferably bread that's two days old. I'll give you the standard size recipe, but as you'll probably be able to tell from the pictures, my batch was more than double the standard recipe. Have no fear - I will actually give you measured amounts for this recipe. Wohoo!!

8 slices homemade bread          4Tbls. parmesan cheese
5Tbls. olive oil (I mix mine 3Tbls oil to 2Tbls melted butter)
1/2tsp. onion salt                       1/2tsp. celery salt
1/2tsp. garlic powder                 1/2tsp. oregano
1/2tsp. parsley 

I managed to save a loaf and a half to use for croutons. My bread is made from Kamut so it almost looks like white bread. Given the number of people who typically eat at my house, making croutons (or most anything else) in small quantities is just a waste of time. The oil looks weird because I melted the butter first and then poured in the olive oil, but didn't think to stir it before the picture.
Cube your bread and put it in a large mixing bowl.
Then mix together the rest of the dry ingredients.
Drizzle the oil and butter mixture on the bread, a little at a time, stirring between additions to coat the bread evenly.
You should try pouring and taking a photo sometime - it's interesting.
All of the bread should be fairly evenly coated.
Next, add the dry ingredients the in the same manner, adding a bit at a time, stirring in between additions.
Spread the croutons in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake at 300 degrees, stirring often to promote even browning.
They're done when they are lightly browned and crispy.
I cooked mine in 15 minute increments, stirring in between until they started browning, then I checked every 5 minutes until they were done to my liking. I think I think they cooked about 50 minutes.

My family eats them on soups as well as salads, and for the occasional snack.
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