Croutons or crusts are used in pea, bean, and all cream soups, for garnishing all kinds of stewed dishes, and for any dish with which toast would be acceptable. When cut large and filled they are called croustades.
To make croutons or croustades, cut bread into the desired shape and saute the pieces in hot butter, or dip them in melted butter and toast them carefully in the oven, turning frequently, so they will be evenly colored; or they may be fried in smoking-hot fat. They should be crisp and dry and the color of amber.
They are made of various sizes and shapes to suit the uses they are to serve. For soups the bread is cut into cubes one quarter inch square or into fancy shapes; for garnishing meat dishes they are cut into diamonds, squares, triangles, and circles; for sippets to eat with boiled eggs, into strips one half inch wide and four inches long; for poached eggs, into circles four inches in diameter.
To make croutons for soup, cut bread into slices one quarter of an inch thick, take off the crust, then cut it into strips one quarter of an inch wide and then across into even squares; or with vegetable cutters cut the sliced bread into fancy shapes.
For triangles, cut a slice of bread one half inch thick, then into strips one and a quarter inches wide, then into pieces two or three inches long, then diagonally across.
For pyramidal pieces, cut the bread into one inch squares and cut diagonally across the cube. When used for garnishing they may be moistened a little on one side with white of egg, and will then stick to the dish sufficiently to hold in place. A circle of pyramidal pieces makes a good border to inclose minced meat, creamed fish, etc.
Circles for poached eggs are cut with a biscuit cutter three inches in diameter, and may be toasted in the ordinary way if preferred.
For boxes cut bread from which the crust has been removed into pieces two and a half inches thick, two and a half inches wide and three and a half inches long, then with a pointed knife cut a line around the inside one half of an inch from the edge and carefully remove the crumb, leaving a box with sides and bottom one half inch in thickness. The boxes may be cut round if preferred, using two sizes of biscuit cutters. They are browned the same as other croutons, and are used for creamed spinach, creamed chicken, creamed fish, etc.
A five cent square loaf of bread cuts to good advantage.
Croutons And Croustades. (SEE PAGE 81).
1. Sippets to use with boiled eggs. 2. Pyramidal Pieces for Borders.
3, 4, 6. Bread Boxes. 5. Triangles for Garnishing.
7. Croustade for Poached Egg, Creamed Meats, etc.
8. Croutons for Soups.
SOME USEFUL UTENSILS.
1, 2. Small Pointed Knives for Vegetables, Boning, etc.
4. Tuller Knife. Useful for pastry and all work done on a board.
5. Broad-bladed Knife or Spatula. 6. Saw.
8, 9. Small Wooden Spoons. 7. Bread or Cake Knife.