Darina Allen's Leftover Bread Croutons from Today with Maura and Dáithí.
- 1 slice of slightly stale pan bread, 5mm (1/4 inch) thick
- sunflower or olive oil
- First cut the crusts off the bread, next cut into 5mm (1/4 inch) strips and then into exact cubes.
- Heat the sunflower or olive oil in a frying pan, it should be at least 2cm (3/4 inch) deep and almost smoking.
- Add the croutons to the hot oil. Stir once or twice, they will colour almost immediately. Put a tin sieve over a Pyrex or stainless steel bowl.
- When the croutons are golden brown, pour the oil and croutons into the sieve. Drain the croutons on kitchen paper.
- Croutons may be made several hours ahead or even a day. The oil may be flavoured with sprigs of rosemary, thyme or onion.
- Croutons may, of course, be stamped out into various shapes, hearts, stars, clubs, diamonds, etc.
1. Pile the croutons onto a soup spoon and serve alongside the soup bowl on the under plate.
2. Drop fancy shaped croutons onto the surface of the soup just before serving, scatter with chive, wild garlic or coriander flowers in season.