If this has been two years before, I would have definitely chosen biscuits or pies for the savoury bakes theme, but now, I try to stay away from them and prefer easy bakes over the more detailed ones. I brought a pack of bread a week before to make a snack for kiddo and I had some left over slices in the fridge. I was thinking of using those for this theme but couldn’t decide on the recipe until yesterday. At first I thought of baking bread rolls, but for that I need to prepare a stuffing and I felt really lazy to do it. Then came the idea of garlic bread and I thought I would make a cheese loaded version. Again there was no cheese in the fridge so that idea was also chucked. And I had so much butter in the fridge and that is when I got the idea of some herb loaded croutons.
To make croutons, it is better to have some stale bread than fresh bread. As my bread slices were drying out in fridge, they were perfect for croutons. I had garlic and basil in mind, but then I saw the fried onions from a previous project and thought of using it up too. If you don’t have fried onions, then just omit it and make the recipe. When it comes to cooking, there are no set rules. The more creative you are, the more delicious your dish is going to be. I guess every one would develop this creativity after so many years in the kitchen. My mom never repeated a dish because, she never had set recipes. She used whatever ingredient was available and made delicious meals for us. But we could never expect the same dish again. Even I am used to that type of cooking, but as I blog about them, I write down the recipe and it is easier when I want to repeat the same dish, which never happens in the life of a food blogger.
Ok, coming back to the croutons, they turned out fantastic with some strong garlic and onion flavour and my house smelled amazing. My daughter loved them so much and she kept munching them while reading her favourtie Tinkle. The amount of butter used in the recipe is enormous, I know. But that is what gives that amazing buttery taste to the croutons. I once saw a chef drowning the bread cubes in oil before baking to get some delicious croutons. I didn’t go to that extent, but I did slather the cubes with lots and lots of butter. If you are conscious about the butter going into the recipe, just decrease the amount and slightly brush the cubes. But still they would be delicious.
Firm Bread Slices – 6
Butter – 1/4 cup
Garlic – 2-3 pods
Fried Onions – 1 tbs
Dried Basil – 1 tbs
Salt and Pepper To taste
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Melt butter in a bowl.
Grind together garlic and fried onions. Add this paste to butter along with basil, salt and pepper.
Apply generous amounts of oil on a baking tray.
Slice the bread slices into tiny cubes.
Arrange them on the greased tray.
Using a pastry brush, apply the garlic butter evenly on top of all the cubes.
Bake in preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes until crisp and dry.
Remove from oven, cool and store in an airtight box.
Use it along with soups or serve them in a bowl for appetizer.