Top | China Moon Cookbook
(recipe, Barbara Tropp)
A dense baguette coupled with a good oil makes for a great crouton. Croutons are most flavorful on the day they are toasted; after 2 or 3 days, they taste stale.
- 1 day-old baguette (about 2 feet long, weighing ½ pound)
- Scant ¼ cup corn or peanut oil
- 1 large clove garlic, smashed
- With a serrated knife, cut the baguette crosswise into ¼-inch-thick rounds. If you're working a day in advance, leave them in a covered bowl at room temperature; in spite of the cover, they'll firm up. Or, if you're wanting to bake them in several hours, spread them on a rack to dry a little.
- Combine the oil and garlic. Let stand 30 to 45 minutes to infuse the oil, then discard the garlic.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Move a rack to the middle position.
- Arrange bread rounds side by side on a baking sheet. Brush the tops lightly with the infused oil. Bake until light gold, 8 to 10 minutes, turning the baking sheet midway for even coloring.
- Let the croutons cool on the baking sheet. For the best flavor, use shortly after toasting. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature and use within 1 to 2 days.