This rye croutons recipe is a great way to use up leftover rye bread. If the bread has caraway seeds, all the better.
In this two-step process of sautéing first and then baking, it takes all of about 20 minutes to have the perfect foil for salads or beer soup, dill pickle soup, split-pea soup, Polish-American Potato-Sausage Corn Chowder, and others.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons good-quality olive oil but extra-virgin isn't necessary
- 1 smashed (but not chopped) clove garlic
- 3 (1-inch-thick) slices rye bread, cut into cubes
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil with garlic over medium heat. Add bread cubes and sauté, turning frequently, until bread is well-browned on all sides, about 3 minutes.
- Discard garlic and transfer bread cubes to a baking sheet and toast until cubes are dried through, about 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container for several weeks.
When to Use Extra-Virgin and When to Use Regular Olive Oil
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: This is the highest-quality olive oil you can buy and, therefore, the most expensive. It has more of an "olive taste" than regular olive oil and is greener in color. Its lower smoke point makes it unsuited for cooking because it will burn quickly. This pricey oil is better used as is in salad dressings, for dipping bread, dips, and other cold dishes.
- Regular Olive Oil: This first cousin to EVOO is more golden in color, has less of an olive taste and is better suited for cooking, baking or roasting, as in this recipe, than extra-virgin.
Can One Olive Oil Be Substituted for Another?
They can, if their different smoke points are kept in mind, but why would you want to waste a pricey, delicious extra-virgin olive oil on a product whose flavor will be ultimately baked out or cooked out in the end? Use regular olive oil in those situations.
Yes, You Can Bake with Olive Oil
Baking with olive oil is not as strange as it sounds and has become quite the rage because of this oil's heart-healthy properties. Here are some recipes using regular olive oil:
- Dairy-Free Lemon Olive Oil Bundt Cake Recipe: Here the butter is replaced with regular olive oil and brightened with lemon and a hint of ginger and nutmeg.
- Olive Oil and Sea Salt Crackers Recipe: These homemade crackers don't have any mysterious ingredients or unhealthy preservatives, just sea salt, olive oil, flour, baking powder, and water. Add fresh or dried herbs if you like.