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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

on November 2, 2015

Tuscan Sausage, Kale And Potato Soup

Sweet Italian Sausage, Mushroom, And Asparagus Strata

There is nothing better than Homemade Ciabatta Croutons. Whenever I make croutons, they’re usually made from cutting up a special Artisan bread I bought from my local bakery. Ciabatta bread is my favorite. Specifically the Tuscan garlic loaf. Whole roasted garlic cloves are baked right into the bread.

Let me say this if you love good bread, and you’ve made your own croutons, you’ll never buy the store-bought brand again.

Above are a few of my recipes where I’ve added Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.

There are my Tuscan, Chicken, and French onion soups, my Stuffed Acorn Squash, a delicious Panzanella Salad, and finally, my Sweet Italian Sausage, Mushroom, And Asparagus Strata.

I think in the future I’ll be making a sweet bread pudding using another variety of  Ciabatta bread. They are just so many recipes that start out with great Homemade Ciabatta Croutons.

Let me show you my basic crouton recipe using the Tuscan garlic Ciabatta loaf.

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So, there are two methods for making great homemade croutons.

The first one is, baking them off on a sheet pan with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, Kosher salt, and black pepper. You could also get crazy and add some, garlic powder, and maybe even dried herbs. I’d first toss them with the olive oil, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper to make sure they’re all coasted nicely. Spread them out evenly in a single layer, on a sheet pan. Bake them off at 350 degrees F., Toss the bread cubes once, until they’re are browned on all sides, about 10-15 minutes.

The second, the way I love to do them, is to use a very large sauté pan. Make sure the recipe doesn’t require more than 4-6 cups of bread cubes. Using butter with olive oil just adds extra flavor to those delightful little cubes of bread. On medium heat, season with Kosher salt and black pepper, tossing frequently, until the bread is evenly toasted and browned. To add even more flavor, while the croutons are still hot, transfer them to a large mixing bowl, add freshly chopped herbs and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Yields: 4-6 cups (1 loaf of Tuscan garlic Ciabatta)
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
4-6 cups of bread cubes, 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes (1 loaf of Tuscan Ciabatta garlic loaf, or plain Ciabatta)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Freshly chopped fresh herbs, optional
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Directions:
Melt the butter and olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. Add the bread cubes making sure they’re in on layer in the pan. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper. Toss all the bread cubes around so they absorb the butter and olive oil. Sauté for a couple of minutes without turning. Once a golden brown, on the first side, then toss them again until brown all sides. This takes about 15 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

While the croutons are nice and hot this is the time to add freshly chopped herbs, grated Parmesan cheese, or both. Toss to combine.

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