Bread Flop Croutons


A few months ago my neighbor brought us over a loaf of bread that she had just baked. I stood there in the backyard chatting, eating about half the loaf. It was so delicious! She is an excellent baker and I strive to be able to do what she does in the kitchen. A few weeks ago I asked her for the recipe and finally had time to bake it yesterday. I must have been too eager to taste it. I pulled it out of the oven a little early so it was a tad on the gummy side. It was 10:00 at night and I was tired so I just left it rather than put it back in the oven. “I’ll deal with it tomorrow.” ZZZZZZZZZZ

The recipe for the bread is as follows:

(from Taste of Home 2001 Annual Recipes)

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2 cups warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs, beaten
7 to 8 cups bread flour

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.
Add the sugar, butter, salt, eggs, and 4 cups flour.
Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour
to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth
and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled,
about 1 hour.
Punch dough down.  Turn out onto a flat surface.
Divide into thirds. Shape into loaves and place into
three greased 9x5x3 inch pans.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or
until golden brown.
Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
Yield: 3 loaves.

Wow! No wonder I like it. . . all that butter and sugar. . .


Now, if you find yourself with bread that is a little under done, there are a lot of other options. Bread pudding comes to mind. Plain old toast is good too. I toasted this piece twice:


I also like homemade croutons and these were amazing. First, cut the bread into whatever size croutons you want and lay them flat on a cookie sheet. Next sprinkle them with salt, pepper, garlic powder or garlic salt (depending on your preference), basil and oregano. Melt 2 TB butter in a saucepan and fry the seasoned croutons. Turn back onto cookie sheet to air dry. I suppose you could bake them as well. These are super soft on the inside, buttery Italian croutons. My son ate half the pan!


In everything I do I try to find a bright side. So my bread wasn’t a total success. . .There are other things that can be just as delicious as warm home-baked bread.