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.


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.)


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



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


Mix the bread cubes with the oil.


Add mixture and give it a good toss.


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.


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.


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.


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!



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