Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Almost No-Knead Bread, Part III: The Leftovers

In an amazing twist of fate, we were out of croutons but happened to have a partial loaf of bread on hand. This probably does not happen too often, in fact it was the first time it happened to us that I can recall. Since salads are no fun without croutons, I just made the day-old bread into the best croutons the world has ever known, or at least the best I've had. The whole recipe requires only 4 ingredients:
 A loaf or partial loaf of bread, fresh or almost stale.
Olive oil, salt, and pepper. That's it! The method is just as simple:
First slice the loaf of bread into more or less 3/4 inch slices. Trim off the crusts and discard or make into breadcrumbs.
Slice the bread into 3/4 inch cubes and spread out in one layer on a rimmed cookie sheet. Slide into an oven preheated to 350 degrees.
Bake for 10 to 15 minutes tossing once or twice. When the bread is toasted all over remove from the oven and drizzle with olive oil. After the cubes are coated with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again. You can serve them warm or at room temperature, just try not to eat them all before they get on the salads. Enjoy!

Super Easy Croutons

1 medium sized loaf of leftover bread
2 to 3 tablespoons good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the bread about 3/4-inch thick. Cut off the crusts and then cut the slices in 3/4-inch dice. Place the croutons on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing once or twice, until they're nicely browned on all sides. Toss them with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve immediately or cool to room temperature.

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