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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Technique of the Week: Seasoned Croutons

In an effort to be open and honest, I want to share a recipe fail and what I did to redeem it.  For the July edition of Bake Your Own Bread, I decided to not wait until the end of the month (crazy, right?) and I made some whole wheat sandwich bread a couple weeks ago.  It was going really well until the second rise . . . Needless to say, I had two lovely-smelling loaves of squat, dense bread.  Boooo.
After all the effort, I really didn't want to throw out the bread, so I did something I usually do with leftover bread: I made croutons.  If you have never made your own croutons, you really ought to.  It's really, really easy and you can make croutons that taste so much better than the ones you buy in a foil zipper bag in the produce section from the grocer.  To be honest, sometimes I just buy a loaf of good bread with the express purpose of making croutons and I leave it out for a couple days so it gets stale.

I typed up the recipe so it's here for a reference and you can download it as always.  But basically, all you need to do is take some bread cubes and toss with oil (or melted butter or bacon fat) and spices and bake until crispy.  My favorite thing to do is use Penzey's Spices Pizza Seasoning blend or their Country French Vinaigrette blend because the spices are already perfectly mixed for me.

So it's back to the drawing board with the whole wheat sandwich bread and while I work on that, I'll be having another salad topped with tasty croutons.  I guess the failed bread worked out pretty well for me after all.

What do you do with failed recipes or projects?  Toss it and start anew or keep going until you have something that works?

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