Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I love bread. I love croutons. I love olive oil and garlic and balsamic vinegar. It's only natural then that every once in a while I get on a crusty crouton kick and go a little crazy.
Any sort of day old bread (or fresh for that matter, but a little stale is better) will work, but definitely do not use your run of the mill loaf of bread from the grocery store. You need something more airy and rustic, like ciabatta, focaccia or a good loaf of skinny french bread.
Cut the bread into thin strips without squishing it. You'll need a good knife. Place strips on a parchment lined cookie sheet and preheat your oven to about 325 degrees.
While the oven is heating in a small bowl mix olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Coat each sliced piece of bread, on both sides with the mixture (if you don't have a kitchen brush, you could use a new paintbrush or maybe even just a spoon). Once it's ready to go you can add a little extra salt or even some balsamic vinegar to taste.
Put the bread in the oven for 5 minutes and watch it. After 5 minutes check to see if the bread is getting golden and crusty and then just watch it every additional two minutes or so until it's looking like you want it.
Pull out of the oven and let cool. As the bread cools, it will get even more crusty.
These are great to eat alone with an ice cold diet coke for lunch or you can actually put them on a salad.
Or load them up with some bruschetta and enjoy a nice appetizer.