Not to make you self-conscious, but I can smell the tiniest bit of garlic from a mile away. True story. That Lean Cuisine that you ate for lunch? I smell it. Did you have Chinese for dinner last night? Oh yes, yes you did. Bruschetta? I am about to pass out from the odor.
I have a love-hate relationship with garlic. I appreciate it for all of its noble deeds in flavoring, but the departing fragrance that oozes from the pores is as offensive to me as Calvin Klein’s Eternity for Women (if you wear this, stop it). And frankly, I don’t like to smell bad – it’s the equivalent of having spinach stuck in the teeth or rogue nosehairs: distracting and embarrassing.
So why post a recipe for garlic croutons? For one, these are useful. They can go into soups, salad, and serve as the base for dips and spreads. For two, the garlic in these is subtle. Neither of us will offend anyone by crunching down on a few of these little rounds.
- A Baguette – that’s a long skinny loaf of bread. Try to get a freshly made loaf if you can.
- 4oz Butter – I use salted butter for this recipe. I prefer Tillamook (from Oregon), but you can use whatever you like.
- A Clove of Garlic
- Serrated Edge Knife – This is the knife with the little teeth in the blade. It’s best for cutting bread.
- Cutting Board – You don’t want to scratch your counters, right?
- Butter Knife
- Oven Pre-Heated to 350
- Foil-Covered Baking Sheet
- Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch rounds.
- Place rounds on the baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven for 5 minutes. This will help to toast the rounds slightly. I flip them over at the 2.5 minute mark to make them toast evenly.
- After you have rubbed each round with garlic, it’s time to butter the rounds. Using softened butter (room temperature is ideal; you can soften refrigerated butter in the microwave – but be careful not to melt it!), spread a semi-generous amount over each round.
Sigh…a word here: Yes, you can use olive oil for these croutons if you are butter-adverse. If you do that, pour a little olive oil in a dish and paint it on with a brush. Just don’t use margarine. Please – it’s vile and you might as well go out and buy croutons in a bag.
- Put the buttered rounds back into the oven for about 8-12 minutes or until they look like this: