Thursday, January 10, 2013

Homemade Croutons- Stocking the Pantry

When I go to the grocery store, I regularly check the reduced, day old bread bin for baguettes at 50% off.  Why would the champion of "fresh" buy old bread, you ask?  Well, they make great, economical, homemade croutons.

If you like great salad (and who doesn't?) with fresh, crispy lettuce, beautiful juicy ripe tomatoes, sweet onions and crunchy cucumber, why not top it with your own homemade croutons?  

I buy wholewheat baguettes to make my croutons.  Today's baguette cost me $1.25 (it's old, remember).  When you get back to the kitchen, cut the bread into bite size pieces and place on a baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil over the cubes, then sprinkle on your favourite dried herbs- oregano, thyme, basil, a little paprika, some good quality garlic powder, a pinch of salt and pepper.  Toss with your hands to make sure everything is coated and place in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes.  Keep an eye to make sure they don't burn.

Cooling down in the oven.
I usually turn off the heat and leave them in the oven for a while longer to make sure they get dry and crunchy.  When cooled, store in a airtight container.

You can go Tex-Mex with seasonings like chile powder, oregano, garlic maybe even a little lime zest and/or finely grated Monterey Jack cheese. Voilà!

Sooo, at the end of the day, for about $1.50 and a little bit of time, you have homemade croutons, flavoured the way you want them with ingredients you can pronounce- no preservatives, no additives, no funny ingredients.

No comments:

Post a Comment