L.A. Times Test Kitchen tips: Save that leftover bread
Cover them tight and freeze them. They save well and are great to have when you want fresh breadcrumbs, or need crostini or croutons for a dish.
Chop up those crusty ends and small pieces, then pulse in a food processor for breadcrumbs with a texture as fine, or as coarse, as you wish.
Slice the larger pieces thinly on the bias, brush with a little olive oil and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt, then toast in the oven until crisp and golden. In minutes, you'll have fresh crostini. (Or simply chop the bread, instead of slicing, for croutons.)
I do this both in the Test Kitchen and at home, with breads ranging from French to pumpernickel -- even croissants. You never know when you might need something to go with a last-minute spread or dipping sauce, or you want a quick topping for baked macaroni and cheese or a vegetable gratin.
If you have any kitchen tips or questions you'd like me to explore, leave a comment below or shoot me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Noelle Carter
Photo: Noelle Carter / Los Angeles Times