These are thin, flat croutons that the British used to call “sippets” and cut into fanciful shapes—hearts and diamonds. When made with olive oil, they turn into Italian crostini. They can go on top of a wide variety of soups or be served on the side for people to add as wanted.
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Cocktail Party
Recipe Coursehors d'oeuvre, side dish
Dietary Considerationhors d'oeuvre, side dish
Taste and Texturebuttery, crisp, crunchy, garlicky
- 1 narrowish loaf good Italian bread, cut across on a slight diagonal into ¼-inch slices
- About 8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted, or ½ cup good olive oil
Oven method: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place as many of the bread slices as will fit in a single layer on a large (not air-cushioned) cookie sheet. Brush the tops with a generous amount of butter or olive oil. Toast for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the bread is brown around the edges and crisp. Let cool. Repeat with any remaining bread.
Stovetop method: Pour enough melted butter or oil into a large frying pan to lightly coat the bottom. Heat over medium heat. Add as many slices of bread as will fit in a single layer and cook over medium heat until golden brown on the first side. Turn the slices over. Cook until golden brown on the other side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining slices, adding butter or olive oil to the pan as needed.
VARIATION: Garlic Croutons
Mash 1 clove garlic into the melted butter or olive oil. Follow the oven method.
2005 Barbara Kafka