Pizza Croutons Recipe

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My grandpa always believed that all-American was the best and only way to go.  He drank Mug root beer and had a mandatory channel change override policy whenever John Wayne was on TV.  He always drove American cars, too.  Chevys (called “Shivees,”) Dodge, and Chryslers were all he knew.  

My first car was a Chrysler.  He wouldn’t have let me park it in the driveway otherwise.  Eventually I upgraded to a (shhhh) Toyota.  But my Toyota had Bluetooth capability.  Heated seats.  Electric windows (which really ages me, considering that my first car didn’t).  It has little gauges that beep merrily when I get too close to an obstacle, or when my tires need a little air.  

Sometimes even a classic can be improved with something ridiculously brilliant that you didn’t even know you needed, until you got it and decided that you couldn’t live without it.

I’ll never forget when I ordered my first Baking Steel.  I watched the distant horizon of my driveway at mail delivery time with the enthusiasm of a shipwreck victim looking for rescue.  Ahhh the agony of the wait!  And then finally, one beautiful day . . . it CAME!  Ohhhh my friends the thrill that tingled the tips of my SOUL as I held it in my hands for the very first time!

I turned my grill on the very highest setting on the very hottest day of summer.  No more pale, flaccid pizza for me, I said with a mischievous grin.  I smiled knowing that, finally, I had a flame hot enough!  I had a flame hot enough to BROIL me some PIZZA!  I had A FLAME HOT ENOUGH TO TAKE OVER THE WORLDDDD!!!! *earth conquering music swells in the background*

It’s probably no surprise that I practically melted the vinyl siding off my house in my little homemade version of Dante’s Inferno.   My first, glorious pizza burst into flames almost immediately when it hit my scorching steel. I believe I quite literally took the term “A flaming success” to new heights.  But I wasn’t worried.  

Being a planner, I had cleverly prepared 4 pizzas, all waiting as trustingly as a groom at a drunken wedding toast to get their little tails roasted off.  I calmly removed the few remaining floating flakes of torched pizza bliss and tried a second pizza. Then a third.  Then a fourth.  It was like watching perfectly good lemmings fling themselves into the sea to die.  My darlings, why oh why oh WHYYYY????

Luckily Baking Steel is helmed by Captain Andris Lagsdin.  I crawled to him over the broken, broiled, burnt up dreams of my Baking Steel pizza bliss.  I offered up the charred remains of my dignity to his experienced, pizza-god hands.  And like the champion that he is, he took me into the wings of pizza rehab and healed my infirmities.  

He brought my pizza dreams back to life again. 

You might find it amazing that a man so successful and so busy would make time for a single customer.  You might be amazed (as I was) to find that he answers each question, personally, and responds to each comment on his (very large and successful) social media accounts.  You might be surprised that, through all of his business growth, he has not lost the personal touch.  

This product, and especially this man and his dream, are for real.  

Your pizza game will succeed because of Baking Steel. But your Baking Steel will succeed because of Andris Lagsdin.  He took something classic and found a way to make it new. 

I think my grandpa would be proud.

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Guest blogger,

Emilie Baltimore,

Cookies For England



Come on. Admit it. Ever since you first watched Lord of the Rings you’ve wanted to have a reason to wield a huge knife. My friends, here is your chance. Take a nice big bread knife and slice that baguette into conquered, little inch thick bread cubes. If you shout “For the SHIRE!” as you carve, I won’t tell anyone.

Come on. Admit it. Ever since you first watched Lord of the Rings you’ve wanted to have a reason to wield a huge knife. My friends, here is your chance. Take a nice big bread knife and slice that baguette into conquered, little inch thick bread cubes. If you shout “For the SHIRE!” as you carve, I won’t tell anyone.

Pizza Croutons

Ingredients:

1 baguette, cubed (day old works well because the bread is harder and easier to toast)

2-3 tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. garlic salt

1 tsp. Italian seasoning

2 tsp. Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Cube baguette into roughly 1” square pieces.  If you mess up, I won’t tell the crouton police. :)  Just do the best you can to get them fairly evenly sized. Drizzle the bread cubes with olive oil, stirring gently to coat.  Dust with spices and stir to evenly distribute spices around all the bread cubes.  Toast on a baking steel (I heated mine on the grill on low heat) just until golden, stirring to get all sides of the croutons evenly crisped.  Store in an airtight container for 2-3 days, or in the freezer for up to a month.

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Drizzle your bread cubes with some delicious olive oil. I used a few tablespoons but depending on the size of your baguette, it might take a little more or a little less. You want the cubes to be coated, but not dripping with oil. You are brilliant so you can use your judgment. I trust you.

Drizzle your bread cubes with some delicious olive oil. I used a few tablespoons but depending on the size of your baguette, it might take a little more or a little less. You want the cubes to be coated, but not dripping with oil. You are brilliant so you can use your judgment. I trust you.

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Next, take your spices and DUMP those bad boys into that glorious, olive oil-soaked bread. You food god, you.

Next, take your spices and DUMP those bad boys into that glorious, olive oil-soaked bread. You food god, you.

Now for the best part. Carefully pour your bread crumbs and seasonings onto your heated Baking Steel. I made my croutons on the grill outside, with low heat. The Baking Steel holds the heat so amazingly well that low was perfect—just enough to get a nice sear on my lovely little bread nuggets without burning them into broiled oblivion. My advice is to start out on lower heat and raise the heat a little bit at a time if you need to, so that you don’t burn them.

Now for the best part. Carefully pour your bread crumbs and seasonings onto your heated Baking Steel. I made my croutons on the grill outside, with low heat. The Baking Steel holds the heat so amazingly well that low was perfect—just enough to get a nice sear on my lovely little bread nuggets without burning them into broiled oblivion. My advice is to start out on lower heat and raise the heat a little bit at a time if you need to, so that you don’t burn them.

You want your croutons to be kind of “bronzed.” Think, “I wore my sunscreen” instead of “Senior citizen baking into human leather on a Florida beach.” Just a kiss of golden brown on all sides. The darker your croutons, the more crisp they will be. You might have to try one. Or two or three. It’s science after all, and someone has to do it. *Ahem.*

You want your croutons to be kind of “bronzed.” Think, “I wore my sunscreen” instead of “Senior citizen baking into human leather on a Florida beach.” Just a kiss of golden brown on all sides. The darker your croutons, the more crisp they will be. You might have to try one. Or two or three. It’s science after all, and someone has to do it. *Ahem.*

The best part is that you can make these from almost any leftover bread—those heels of the loaf that no one wants? Presto! They are now your favorite part. How about that renegade hot dog bug languishing in the freezer from the last cookout? Yep. Give that bad boy a makeover and turn him into croutons. You can even use . . . *whisper* leftover pizza crust to make pizza croutons. Oh my GOODNESS. You are a genius. I love working with you.

The best part is that you can make these from almost any leftover bread—those heels of the loaf that no one wants? Presto! They are now your favorite part. How about that renegade hot dog bug languishing in the freezer from the last cookout? Yep. Give that bad boy a makeover and turn him into croutons. You can even use . . . *whisper* leftover pizza crust to make pizza croutons. Oh my GOODNESS. You are a genius. I love working with you.

Take a bite. A crunchy, delicious bite. Taste the spices. Smell the char of the grill. Feel that deep, satisfying feeling that comes from making something yourself, and then loving the heck out of it.  You food genius, you.  You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.

Take a bite. A crunchy, delicious bite. Taste the spices. Smell the char of the grill. Feel that deep, satisfying feeling that comes from making something yourself, and then loving the heck out of it.

You food genius, you.

You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.

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