Method

Croutons are small cubes of toasted or fried bread, usually served as an accompaniment to soups or as a garnish in salad. Translated from the French, crouton means ‘little crust’. Croûtes are larger, used to accompany soups, to absorb cooking juices from meat, or to float on top of soups such as French onion soup.

To make fried croutons, heat 1 cm (½ inch) oil and a knob of butter in a frying pan over high heat. Add the bread cubes (day-old bread is best) and toss for 2 minutes, until crisp and golden. For toasted croûtes, put slices of baguette under a hot grill (broiler) and cook for 2 minutes, until golden brown, then turn over and cook the other side.

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