Years ago, I was watching an episode of Jaques Pepin’s Fast Food My Way. He was talking about how lazy American cooks can get. And he tossed out the phrase, parce que vous achetez les croutons. It was the first time it had occurred to me that I can make things at home that I was normally buying at the store. And yet, until just last week, I had never made my own croutons.
Garlic Croutons Recipe:
1. Slice it: I took four slices of bread from the boule of sourdough that my wife had brought back from San Fransisco. This ended up being enough croutons for about 4 big salads.
2. Dress it: I drizzled some olive oil on top and cracked some pepper. Then I poured on a whole bunch of garlic powder.
3. Cube it: I cut the bread into cubes and threw them onto a baking sheet.
4. Bake it: I baked them at 350 for a little too long and the croutons came out a little burned, but still tasty. Cooking times will vary, depending on the size of the bread cubes. I would say anywhere between 5-10 minutes.
5. Eat it: We had these in a simple salad that we ate alongside some croque monsieurs. I threw together a quick balsamic vinaigrette to go on the salad, and the strong acidity was a nice foil to the crispy crunchiness of the croutons.
My croutons were good. And even slightly burned, they were better than just about any other crouton I’ve purchased from the store. And yet, even though I try these days to make as much as I can from scratch, I still find the idea of making my own croutons to be a little bit bothersome.