One of the benefits of baking your own bread is that you’re compelled not to waste any of it. It can be as stale as a lost peanut stuck between the cushions of a sofa, and yet you can still find a use for it. Like arch supports for your shoes, shoulder pads, a spoon rest to set next to your cooker so sauces don’t drip on the work surface, a scrubby for removing ick from the frying pan, a book-end to keep my cookery books from toppling over, cut as a wedge for a doorstop … and well, croutons.
The nifty trick here is that rapeseed oil gives the croutons a deep yellow tint even before the cubes hit the frying pan.
Heat up a frying pan that’s just large enough to hold all of the croutons in a single layer. Then put a generous glug of golden, yellow rapeseed oil in the pan, swirl, add a half clove of garlic (sliced) and let it sizzle for a few seconds, and then remove it. You only want a hint of garlic flavour. Now throw in your bread cubes. Toss ‘um about, and keep ‘um moving. Wowzers — that rapeseed oil has already soaked into the cubes, and given them a golden head start. Keep tossing until crisp and the edges are an inviting shade of brown.
Use in soups, on salads, or just straight from your hand when your tummy rumbles from hunger.
And I just used up all of my lovely croutons on a salad with dinner tonight, so I need to get a poolish perking so I can bake up some bread! Wayhey!