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Who has a nice crouton recipe/technique...?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Need one suitable for a caesar salad style or variant of dressing, i.e. buttery, cheesy, garlicky.  I've been using a version from the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and it's pretty decent.  Would be interested in knowing what others are doing.  Thanks.

post #2 of 27

I like mine fried in bacon fat or lard, hint of oregano, salt, pepper, and some paprika. 

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Dr.Seuss

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post #3 of 27

For croutons for a caesar salad, heat some oil over medium heat. Add some anchovies. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes until they break down. Add some garlic and cook briefly. Add your diced bread. Toss. Season with s&p. Finish in oven.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #4 of 27

Simply cut off bread rinds and cut into 1/2" cubes.

Heat olive oil til it starts to smoke, add croutons and brown each on all 6 sides....(takes patience here)

When just finished, add finely minced garlic, salt and freshly ground black pepper, and toss well.

Place in bowl lined with paper toweling to absorb any extra grease.  Viola!

post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks..I'll give these  try...

post #6 of 27
I use melted butter that I've steeped garlic cloves in, some anchovy if you have it, oregano, basil, marjoram.. pour over bread cubes and bake at 275 until crisp but not browned (basically dehydrating, not baking)
post #7 of 27

I do mine on the stove in olive oil...sometimes olive oil and butter.  Occasionally I add a whole, crushed garlic clove(s) while heating the oil/butter.  I remove the garlic before adding the bread cubes.  Toss the cubes until golden, then season while hot with s&p.  I like using ciabatta for croutons. Just made some fairly large croutons for panzanella this weekend. 

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 

Great ideas here...

post #9 of 27

If I am making a large batch of croutons I usually bake them but if I am just making a small amount then I "fry" them in a saute pan over medium low heat.  I like the flavor better that way, but not really conducive to large scale production of croutons.

post #10 of 27

Pete, I can see why the stovetop method isn't great for large amounts.  It's always annoyed me when nicer restaurants use store-bought croutons...pretty boring.

 

I see you're in Fond du Lac which holds many good memories for me.  I spent a lot of time there as a child visiting my aunt and uncle. Lots of jaunts on Winnebago on his sailboat!     

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

I've tried the pan browned method, but I think it would work better as suggested, finishing them off in the oven.  Seems when baked for 15 minutes, they come out light, dry, crunchy, ready to soak up some dressing.  Of course, the bread used has a lot to do with it, too.  There is an Italian restaurant I used to go to, that made the croutons.  They were large and very light, kind of melted in your mouth.  I may go back there sometime for dinner, but the main reason being to see if they still have them.

post #12 of 27

@Skyler that is awesome.  Where are you at nowadays.  I've only been here, in Fond du Lac for about 12 years so I'm still a newbie to Wisconsin.

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
 

@Skyler that is awesome.  Where are you at nowadays.  I've only been here, in Fond du Lac for about 12 years so I'm still a newbie to Wisconsin.


Have you been to Oshkosh for their yearly airshow Pete? It is awesome.

post #14 of 27
Quote:
 
 Have you been to Oshkosh for their yearly airshow Pete? It is awesome

 

We haven't been there yet, but plan on making it one of these days, probably in a few years when our daughter is just a bit older.  That doesn't stop us from seeing a lot of what's going on as the planes often fly over Fond du Lac and use the Fond du Lac airport.  In fact, the Fondy airport, for most of the year does not have a manned tower, but during EAA they do and for a brief period of time becomes one of the busiest public airports in the US, in terms of take offs and landings.

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete View Post
 

@Skyler that is awesome.  Where are you at nowadays.  I've only been here, in Fond du Lac for about 12 years so I'm still a newbie to Wisconsin.

I've been in Southern California for a very looooong time.  We lived in Michigan when I was a kid and made many trips to Fond du Lac.  Wisconsin and Michigan are so pretty but I don't miss the winters! 

post #16 of 27

I use the stupid method and they probably don't taste nearly as good. 

 

Cut good bread into 3/4" cubes. Yes, I use the crust.

Sometimes I use bread that has been around a while and needs to be eaten. 

Heat one part butter/ one part olive oil in a small pan and add oregano and minced garlic. Low heat. 

The amount of oil and butter depends on how many bread cubes you have. Not every crouton needs to be saturated. 

 

Toss with bread in a bowl, add parmesan cheese - sprinkle lightly. 

I also wipe up the bowl with any cubes that don't have dressing.

Scatter on a sheet pan and bake until brown, tossing periodically to insure overall brownness. 

Funny, I don't season them, and sometimes I use thyme as well. Sometimes I don't use 

 

This method is quick and you can make a lot.

post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 

That is pretty much the Better Homes & Gardens recipe I mentioned.  Decent.

post #18 of 27

I understand that the original caesar salad was a finger food. The ingredients were served on a whole ice burg lettuce leaf. The croutons were a later edition. Can't remember where I saw that  but that was the gist of it. Why not give that version a go.

post #19 of 27

Speaking of Caesar salad and finger food, I got this recipe years ago from a cookbook called "Simply Classic" from the Jr. League of Seattle.  The dip is also good served with endive, small romaine leaves, crudite...whatever suits you.  

 

Caesar Cream

 

2 medium garlic cloves
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh parsley, packed
6 canned anchovy fillets (or to taste)  
3 T. lemon juice
1 cup sour cream

Parmesan Toasts

1 baguette (or other rustic bread...I like using finger-size slices of ciabatta)
2 T. olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

With machine running, drop garlic in feed tube of food processor and mince. Add Parmesan, parsley, anchovies and lemon juice. Process into a paste. Transfer to bowl and fold in sour cream. 

For Parmesan Toasts:

Preheat oven to 350. Cut baguette into thin slices using a serrated knife. Place slices on baking sheet in single layer. Bake until lightly toasted, 8-10 minutes, turning once during cooking. Remove from oven. Brush slices on one side with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan. Return to oven and bake until golden, about 3 minutes.

To Serve: Place Caesar Cream in small bowl on tray and surround with Parmesan Toasts.


 

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 

That looks really good...will have to try it...

post #21 of 27

Keep it simple and effective.

 

-Cut left over baguette into cubes the size you want for your salad.  (It helps if the baguette is a bit hard or frozen, this way you dont flatten the bread as you cut through it.)

 

-Place in large bowl

 

- Drizzle with olive oil (if you have garlic oil, you can put half olive oil and half garlic oil.)

Make sure you put enough oil, you dont want to simply toast them, you that bread to be really crispy, almost fried.

 

-Season with salt pepper

 

- cut thyme and rosmary and season the croutons with that as well.

 

-Cook in oven at about 400 until golden and crispy ( Make sure they are crispy and dry so that they dont soak up ambiant air once you store them)

 

Simple and delicious in a ceasar salad. Trust me

post #22 of 27
Thread Starter 

That sounds good, too!

post #23 of 27

This was the last crouton recipe I wrote or used (continue to use it at home today). It's simple, very flavorful and works great in a Caesar Salad. You can reduce it to 1/4 yield for the home. That's what I use most. Any further than that, just wing the ingredients to fit the amount of bread used. You can take the 5 seasoning ingredients and extend them to prepare a crouton oil in prep. Then just add what you like to the bread and go from there. The oil (with a little chopped fresh oregano) also makes a great baste for baked chicken.

 

 

 

RECIPE FORM

 

RECIPE TITLE:  Croutons                                                                             DATE:   2/18/95

                                                                                                                  

YIELD:                                                                                                      SHELF LIFE:   4 days   

 

 

 

INGREDIENTS                                         AMOUNT               PROCEDURES                                                                                                    

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Bread loaves*, cubed 1/2”x 1/2”

Olive oil, extra virgin

Fresh garlic, chopped fine

Sea salt, coarse

Fresh ground black pepper,

coarse

Fresh parsley, chopped fine

 

 

*Artisan Breads only. Do not use commercial white bread. Density is too great and quality of crust and crumb is insufficient for croutons

 

**Standard size Batard or Boule for recipe increment. If needed, use 1/2 gallon (average) per loaf as measurement in place of quantity

 

4 each**

1 cup

1/4 cup

1 Tbsp.

1/2 Tbsp.

 

1 Tbsp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cube bread in 1/2” x 1/2’ pieces and set aside in a large mixing bowl.

In a sauté pan combine oil, garlic, salt and pepper and heat over medium flame. DO NOT BROWN GARLIC! Remove from heat and begin to drizzle oil over bread cubes tossing frequently until no oil is left. Add parsley and mix well.  Place coated bread cubes on parchment lined sheet trays in a single even layer.

Place trays in a pre-heated 350 deg. oven with fan on and toast until light golden brown and crisp. DO NOT BURN! Let cool and store in a lexan.

RDIL and store at room temperature

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #24 of 27
Thread Starter 

Thanks...I'll have a great time testing these...

post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trist Gles View Post
 

Keep it simple and effective.

 

-Cut left over baguette into cubes the size you want for your salad.  (It helps if the baguette is a bit hard or frozen, this way you dont flatten the bread as you cut through it.)

 

-Place in large bowl

 

- Drizzle with olive oil (if you have garlic oil, you can put half olive oil and half garlic oil.)

Make sure you put enough oil, you dont want to simply toast them, you that bread to be really crispy, almost fried.

 

-Season with salt pepper

 

- cut thyme and rosmary and season the croutons with that as well.

 

-Cook in oven at about 400 until golden and crispy ( Make sure they are crispy and dry so that they dont soak up ambiant air once you store them)

 

Simple and delicious in a ceasar salad. Trust me

This one was nice...will keep trying these...

post #26 of 27

Low-cal quick version:

 

Cut up some pre-sliced boule slices, depending on how much you want, into crouton size pieces.

 

Spread them out evenly on a large microwave safe dish.

 

Microwave uncovered on high for one minute.

 

Re-arrange pieces to ensure even heating.

 

Microwave on high for another minute.

 

Repeat re-arrange and microwave for a minute until they are brown and crunchy.

 

Keep a close eye on them since microwave ovens have hot spots.

 

You can then add any flavoring you like.

post #27 of 27
I suggest you check out Stellaculinary.com. I think he has a video on making your own croutons. Tell Jacob I sent you.
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