croutons

Whatever. Boring salad—wait! Take a look at those croutons! Wherever did I get such gorgeous, tasty-looking croutons?

All right, they’re pretty average-looking, I know. But I made ’em and I was just trying to build some excitement about little spiced-up cubes of old bread.

Of the things you can do with old bread, maybe the easiest is turning it into croutons. Most store-bought croutons contain milk products, and I’ve paid ridiculous sums for fresh ones. Come on, it’s salvaged old bread! These came from the ends of some white bread I made with my inherited bread machine, so the cost for 2 cups of croutons is probably in the neighborhood of a dime.

Just cut it up into cubes while you’re melting some Earth Balance in a baking dish (in your preheating-to-400° oven). When the EB is melted, mix in your favorite herbs and spices, then toss the bread cubes in and get them good and coated. Then bake them ’til they’re however browned you want them to be. They’re going to dry out a little more once you remove them from the oven, so if they’re the color you want them but aren’t toasty enough, give them a minute. You can always put them back in the oven.

I have a bad habit of walking away from the oven for one minute and coming back five later—to find overdone you-name-it, so if I think they’re getting close, I’ll turn the oven off and open the door just a bit. The leftover heat will keep cooking away, but not dangerously fast.

Just make sure to let them cool off all the way before storing them, to allow any extra moisture to escape. And try not to eat them all while they’re cooling.

(Oh yeah, new photos mean new camera. Still figuring it out.)

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