The following is a dramatic telling of a tale not suitable for the faint of heart. Rest a moment while I regale you with The Tale of Rapid Cycle Gluten Free Bread. And Gluten Free Croutons.
Jessica was shuffling papers around her desk, cleaning up the remnants of her day in the studio and storing last minute tasks in the back of her mind. A single ray from the desk lamp slanted across her hands as she worked, barring the pressing darkness from infiltrating the room. As she turned to begin closing down her computer a sudden chat window materialized. It was from Alex, tucked away in the comforting yellow light of their Santa Monica loft. But his chat was less than comforting.
"I made bread. I tried the rapid cycle."
"Something went wrong."
Jessica's breath caught.
"I'm coming home now."
Her curt reply ignited action as she layered her arms with belongings and sped out into the misty night. She haltingling raced through South Bay grid lock, gripping the steering wheel as one crazed driver after another drifted carelessly in and out of her lane. Her thoughts conjured a vision of Alex; curled up on the kitchen floor, clutching to his chest the deformed monster freshly birthed from the belly of their bread machine. What had gone so wrong? Her heart mourned for all the lost sandwiches. Each red light was like a punch to Jessica's addled and anxious brain.
Finally breezing through Santa Monica, circumnavigating a nest of Big Blue Buses. Swiftly screeching through the driveway choke point and down through the earth, wedging their car between two crooked vehicles in its underground haven. Furiously poking the up arrow in the elevator, keys jangling impatiently, fitting itself into the familiar lock, yellow light flooding across her feet. And there was Alex, decidedly upright, smiling even. He went to the refrigerator. Opened a large plastic container.
"I made croutons!" he grinned.
Jessica blinked at him. She took a crouton and slowly tested the feeling of it, tasted its crispy outer shell and salty seasonings.
Quick and Easy Gluten Free Croutons
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- 1 Loaf of Gluten Free Bread - poorly cooked, stale, or fresh and perfect
- Olive Oil
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- other seasonings you may be partial to
1. Chop your bread into the size squares you desire - whatever says 'crouton' to you.
2. Spread bread squares onto a cookie sheet.
3. Pop the bread into your 400 degree F oven for about 10 minutes. This step is what gives your bread the stale quality desired in croutons - so if your bread is already stale skip this step.
4. When you're done stale-ing up your bread take it out of the oven and toss lightly with olive oil, shake on desired seasonings - whatever looks good to you, you're the boss.
5. Set your oven to broil, slide your cookie sheet back in on the top rack and keep your eye on them! Alex kept his in for about 3 to 4 minutes, turning the croutons about every minute.
This gave us a crispy outside and a softer, more home-made inside so use your judgement and decide how crispy you want your croutons.
* A Side Note: If you are making Gluten Free Bread in the Breadman Pro DO NOT use the rapid cycle. It will leave your bread gummy and soggy and squishy, uncooked and unsandwichable. Only cook on rapid cycle if you need an excuse to make croutons and feel uncomfortable using a perfect loaf...or if you don't want to buy a frozen variety to chop up.
Other GF takes on crunchy bread:
Gluten Free Goddess - Best Gluten Free Bread Crumbs
I Am Gluten Free -Gluten Free Croutons
Simply Recipes - French Onion Soup (Sub the French Bread for some of these croutons, um, DINO-MITE.)