It’s Wednesday, which is my Hump Day Hack day.
If you’re like me, you buy some lovely ciabatta or other artisan buns for a recipe and then end up with leftover bread. Well, transform it into EASY croutons. Ciabatta works best but French and Italian loaves are great, too.
If you don’t have time this week, you can freeze the bread and then defrost it on the counter ad make croutons next week.
These croutons are great of gazpacho or even dipped in a Bloody Mary (Hey, if you can do it with milk and cookies as a kid, why not croutons and Bloody Marys when you grow up?)
You will need 1 ciabatta
1 tablespoon olive oil
¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning
Heavy dash of garlic salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice up 1 ciabatta or other bread into bite-size pieces.
Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to toss the bread to incorporate the oil. Then toss with Italian seasoning and a generous dash of garlic salt. Toss to coat.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crisp.
These will keep a few days (depends how soon your bread will expire and if it has preservatives) but are best enjoyed fresh. They are amazing hot!
Here’s another wonderful way to use artisan bread before it goes bad. You can use it to make dill toast for smoked fish, like smoked salmon or trout. It’s FABULOUS.
To do this, take your ciabatta or French bread and brush it with olive oil. Then sprinkle dried dill weed on the bread and a dash of salt. Bake it at 400 degrees for 5-10 minute, depending on how toasted you want it. I prefer it at about 6 minutes.
Then spread cream cheese or horseradish on the bread and top with smoked fish and capers. It’s simply delightful!
Panzanella is another use for old artisan bread. I like this recipe from Ina Garten: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/panzanella-recipe.html
And here is my second tip of the day: If you ever need to clean out your coffee grinder, fill it with rice and pulse until the rice becomes a powder. Then toss the rice and wipe the inside of the grinder with a damp paper towel.
Why would you need to clean it? Well, sometimes you might want to use it to make bread crumbs or grind spices. There are a variety of reasons.
Thanks for reading these Hump Day Hacks and Tips. If you have any additional suggestions, or requests, I am always listening. Thank you