Crouton are small cubes of bread that are sautéed, toasted, rebaked or fried. It is either buttered and peppered or seasoned with herbs. It is used in soups and salads to added crunch. The word crouton is derived from the French word croûte which means crust.
Ingredients and Preparation
Traditionally, crouton was made from stale left over bread. Any bread can be used to make croutons. It is either buttered or brushed with oil and baked. Seasonings like oregano, garlic chive or basil can be used. It can also be made by simply cooking cubes of breads along with some butter or oil in a small sauce pan on slow flame till crispy.
- Croutons are most popularly used in ceasar salad to added to the texture.
- A larger piece topped with melted cheese is used in French onion soup.
- Powdered croutons can be used to encrust eggplant for making eggplant parmesan bake. It can also be used to coat chicken, pork or any meat to make it crispier.
- In India, cutlets are coated with powdered croutons before frying.
- In North America, dried or baked croutons with seasonings are served for thanksgiving.
- Croutons should be stored in an air tight container or zip lock bags to retain the freshness. They should be used within two week of making to avoid rancidity.
Health and Nutrition Facts
Serving size – 20 g
Calories – 47 cal, Fat – 1.8 g, sodium – 130 mg, Protein – 1g
- Croutons are low in calories but very high in sodium. It should be avoided by people suffering from hypertension and blood pressure problems.
- Healthier croutons can be made without oil by simply baking cubed pieces of bread.
- Gluten free bread can be used for people suffering from Celiac disease.
- In India, Parle makes a baked crouton snack called hippo in many variant.