Toast & Croutons

Eating well on a budget it tough.  Thank goodness for those surprising deals out there…

The recycling center I go to has free past-date bread.  Yesterday there was almost nothing left, which is definitely a sign of the times.  They did, however, have exactly what I was looking for: small baguettes.  When I plated food for a winery, I used to also slice slightly stale baguettes for the chef when the line cooks weren’t around.  Then he’d sprinkle them with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake them into “crostini”.  In the normal world I believe we just call it “toast”.


  • 1 small (around, not short) slightly stale baguette
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

What I did:

  • Sit down on the floor with a big cutting board, two air bake cookie sheets, and a serrated knife.
  • Slice the baguette into slices about 1/4 of an inch thick, arrange them on cookie sheets.
  • Lightly drizzle them with olive oil, lightly dash them with sea salt, lightly sprinkle them with black pepper.
  • Put them in a 400F oven.
  • Check them after seven minutes, then every two after.
  • Toast should be lightly golden and have no soft middles.
  • Allow to cool and store in an air-tight container.

Great for:

  • Soups
  • Cheese & meats
  • Dips & spreads
  • Random snacking

Then I took my other baguette and made garlic croutons… YUM.


  • 1 small (around, not short) slightly stale baguette
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

What I did:

  • Still sitting on the floor with the knife, cutting board, and this time a large bowl.
  • Slice the baguette into slices about 1/3 inch thick, then slice them lengthwise in half, width-wise in thirds (why does my spell checker allow “lengthwise” but not “widthwise”?).  That should be a good crouton size.
  • Toss the bread cubes in olive oil.  I’m not sure how much I used, sorry.  They shouldn’t be soaked.  Think butter on popcorn.
  • Toss with garlic powder & salt.
  • Spread out on two air bake cookie sheets.
  • Bake at 400F for three minutes.  Take out, stir around, switch the position of the cookie sheets (I neglected to do this and ended up with a batch of VERY well done and a batch of slightly underdone), bake for another three minutes.  They should be nicely crispy all the way through.
  • Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.


  • Onion powder
  • Finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Powdered herbs

Great for:

  • Soups
  • Salads
  • Random snacking

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