Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Leftover Challah? Make Croutons!

I bake challah every week.  Sometimes I have many guests and most of it gets eaten.  Often, I will use it for toast or make french toast for breakfast on Sunday morning.  Sometimes it is just me so I have a lot of challa left over.

This week I had extra challah left over and I figured I would make some croutons for salads.  Prepared croutons are so expensive in the store - this is a good way to use up any leftover bread.  After the croutons have cooled, put them in an air-tight container or a zip plastic bag.

I keep a quart jar filled with olive oil and smashed garlic in my refrigerator at all time.  It gets semi-solid so it is very easy to spread.  It will soon become liquid when room temperature.  I use this oil for my croutons and also to make garlic bread.  I have written an alternative in the recipe below in case you do not store garlic infused oil in your own refrigerator.

As my oven is parve, I can use these croutons on any salad and with any meal.

 Croutons before toasting

 Croutons after toasting

How to make Homemade Croutons:

Use whatever leftover, stale bread you have on hand.  Cut it into cubes.  If you get some crumbs, dry them out and store them to use as bread crumbs in a recipe

Line a baking sheet with parchment or baking paper.  Drizzle olive oil over the parchment paper.  Use either powdered garlic, garlic salt (if you like it) or something else to sprinkle on top of the oil.  Scatter bread cubes over the oiled surface.  Toss with your hands or a parve spatula.  If necessary, drizzle a bit more olive oil over the bread cubes.  I often will put more garlic on and sometimes a bit of salt.  This is optional, of course.

Bake in a 250°F/120°C  until the bread cubes are light brown and completely dry. Taste one to check.  If not completely toasted through, then bake a bit longer but watch them carefully at this point so they do not burn! Croutons must be completely toasted through or they will not keep well.

Cool on baking sheet.  Once croutons are completely cool, store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!
K (p)

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