The South American breads that are made with manioc flour rather regular wheat flour (such as Brazilian pao de queijo, which have a slightly gooey texture when fresh, can be made into crispy croutons once they become hard and stale. Cheese breads make especially tasty croutons, and I especially love croutons made from whole grain and anise seed breads. Cut the bread into cubes that are slightly larger than what you would like the finished crouton to be, as breads will shrink as they cook.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
- 2 cups of stale bread cubes (packed)
- Garlic salt (optional)
- Paprika or smoked pimenton (Spanish paprika) (optional
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a skillet with the olive oil over low heat.
- Add the garlic and the cubes of bread and sauté, turning occasionally and carefully with a spatula, until bread cubes are golden brown. Keep the heat low so that the garlic and bread won't burn.
- Season with salt (garlic salt is good0 and pepper to taste and stir well. Sprinkle with paprika if desired.
- Remove from heat and spread croutons onto a plate lined with paper towels. Let cool - try not to eat them all!
- Store in an airtight container. Reheat for a couple of minutes in a 350 degree oven to restore crispness, if desired.