Lauren Winner and Croutons

I have been reading a book called “Girl Meets God: On the Path to a Spiritual Life” by Lauren Winner. The book is a collections of stories and thoughts about her spiritual journey. She talks about her journey through becoming an Orthodox Jew then turning her life to Christ. I have really enjoyed the book and I plan on recommending it to a few friends.

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This may be silly to some but I found myself wanting to cook some Jewish cuisine. Lauren Winner talks a little about challah, latkes, and Tu B’Shevat muffins (I think she made these up but I could be wrong) in the book. I find myself intrigued by religious cuisine. Really any cuisine but in this instance it is religious. I have made matzo ball soup, latkes, and bagels before and I have really enjoyed what I have made. This week I made matzo ball soup, challah, and latkes. The soup wasn’t as good this time. My matzo balls were too firm. I will have to work on that one.

Anyway, I made challah and it was delicious. Challah is an egg based bread. It also came out pretty when I braided it. However, for the second rise I put plastic wrap on it to prevent from drying out. Well, I didn’t think that through because the loaf already had an egg wash on it so my braid was a little faint and getting the plastic wrap off without deflating my loaf was pretty difficult. All in all my challah making experience was a good one and I will make it again. David keeps laughing at me because I keep calling it ciabatta. I am not sure why. I think it is the C it keeps throwing me off.

We ate about half of the loaf. I was trying to think of a way to use the other half. I had someone on Facebook recommend french toast. For a while that was my plan however maple syrup is not the most cost effective thing here in the UK. I will have to have my mother send us some from New England. I ended up deciding to make croutons. I have made croutons before with homemade bread and I thought this would be perfect.

I am going to be completely honest. Our bread had started to mold. I’m not talking about big patches. I am talking about a few tiny little dots in one location. I cut off the bad patch and examined the rest. As my mother would say, “I’m not proud.” No sense in wasting the whole loaf of bread for a few small spots.

Leftover Bread Croutons

 Image(That is our Christmas Card from my sister, brother in law, and two adorable nephews.)

Ingredients

4 cups of leftover bread cubes (challah, french, white/wheat, ciabatta, foccacia, sourdough, pretty much anything you have)

1/4 cup olive oil (I used rapeseed oil, it’s the olive oil of the UK)

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp dried thyme, oregano, and garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

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Preheat oven to 375F/190C. Mix spices together.

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Mix the bread cubes with the oil.

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Add mixture and give it a good toss.

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Spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Toss. Bake for another 5 minutes. Check to see if your cubes are good and dry. If they are then they are done if not bake them for another 5 minutes until they are dry. You want them to be dry so that they do not mold.

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Cool and store in an air tight container.

Run out of Breadcrumbs?

Run the croutons in a food processor or a plastic bag with a rolling pin.

Hope you all have a wonderful week! I am finishing a few projects and hope to update you all in a few weeks. Here is a quick preview.

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ImageI am working on making our own sprouts for salads. I hope to experiment a little more on sprouts and do a post later on.

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I am finishing up my watercolor paintings for our living room. I ran out of command strips so I am unable to show you the finished project but I hope to write about it this week with some other details about our stay in Nottingham. I little more on us and less on food!

Thanks for reading!

Lauren

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