The Bread Board

The Bread Board

Croutons to accentuate those winter meals

croutons accentuate winter meals

The month of April marks a true change of season in Australia. As the daylight savings clock moves forward and the night time reaches us earlier, so too do the cooler temperatures that signify the undisputable arrival of Autumn. As brown leaves begin to litter the foot paths of our leafier suburbs and mornings become that little bit harder to climb out of bed, we here at Bakers Maison begin to think of the sensually remedial dishes that accompany the cooler months of the year.

Soups, casseroles, and braises are the decidedly heavier meals that flourish in our homes. With rich and layered flavours, these dishes are hearty in their nourishment and comfort. This is why we have decided to make April’s update about an addition to soups and casseroles that never goes astray: the crouton.

Luckily for us (and you), bread is a fixture throughout the seasons. Whilst it is best enjoyed freshly baked, it is a fact of life and love that bread will go stale. The silver lining to this natural occurrence lies in the humble and wholesome crouton, a crispy, culinary creation that adds delightful crunchy textures to soups and salads.

The word ‘crouton’ is derived from the French word croute, which means “crust”. In the schools of French culinary techniques, cooking croute is used as both a noun and verb to describe the process that turns the bread into crust.

There are many recipes to create this extravagantly simple condiment. Here is one that has always provided ‘the goods’.

Ingredients:

1x stick of your favourite freshly baked Bakers Maison bread, as you will have these available in your freezer or ready for baking

3-4 tbsp. unsalted butter or olive oil (depends on your taste or dish to accompany)

2x crushed garlic cloves

2x tbsp. of chopped oregano (or whatever herb takes your fancy)

1x large bowl

1x baking tray

Method:

  1. Set the oven to around 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Grab your loaf of bread. Slice it up into small cubes about 1.5cm on each side. Alternatively, you can tear the bread up into small pieces for a more rustic feel.
  3. If you have chosen butter, you will need to melt it down. Add in the crushed garlic cloves and your choice of herb to your butter or olive oil. Then drizzle your mixture over the bread pieces and give them a good toss, being gentle not to squash them too much.
  4. Place them in the tray and into the oven for around 12 minutes or until golden brown crispy. They may need to be tossed a little to make sure all sides are crisp.

Throw these delicious additions on a nice hearty soup or braise and enjoy their textual crunch.

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