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Jul 10, 2008 07:44 AM

Does Anyone know how to make a crouton bowl?

I love the idea of a crouton basket or bowl, just not sure how to make my own. Any ideas or tips?

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  1. What does this look like? Did you see it somewhere? I'm guessing a thin slice of bread curved and toasted or deep-fried between two spiders like the Chinese noodle baskets...

    1. Gee, you have my curiosity going. The only thing I can think of is to take bread and form it over upside down muffin tins and bake it. I would butter and spice them before hand.

      1. It appears from Googling that a crouton bowl (a misnomer, to me) imay be simply a bread bowl. Take a round loaf, split in half, take out much of the crumb, and put stuff in it. I don't like the idea because I don't like soggy bread for dessert. I want the bread with the meal, not later.

        1. I did see a pic (though I can't remember where) and it was hard to see the bowl since it was filled with a mixed green salad. The rim looked kind of rough like maybe strips of bread were flattened and then layered together (think lattice) over a glass bowl form to create a rustic, crispy, thin, bowl. I loved the idea of dressing up a plain salad by making the bowl out of croutons. I think "othervoice" is going in the right direction with her reply.

          2 Replies
          1. re: cpulliam

            I was thinking you'd take something like a sourdough boule, cut in half, scoop out the insides, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake until it gets crispy. It will stand up to a wet salad. Sounds like a fun idea.

            1. re: susan1353

              I had thought about that also, the only problem is that everyone has tried the sourdough boule and I wanted something different. I'm looking for the "wow" factor. If you google "crouton basket" you'll find it on several restaurant menus. It is usually described as "crispy" in the descriptions. So I'm thinking more along the lines of a thin, crispy shell than an actual bread bowl.

          2. Woven puff pastry strips? Really thin strips if you're doing muffin tins. A little more leeway with a larger form (6-oz custard Pyrex). If you don't trim exactly, leave the extensions for litle sea-life antennae.

            5 Replies
            1. re: nemo

              nemo -- these sound intriguing. are they hard to do? what do you fill them with?

              another related but different idea for salads is a savory gougere type of thing. that has the wow factor too. In this week's Washington Post, Odessa Piper has a recipe for one that she makes in appetizer size and fills with salad. I imagine they could be made bigger too.

              Here's a link to gougere salad recipe:

              1. re: karykat

                karykat: Not knowing what the OP was talking about, I was just thinking on paper. I envisioned that if you wove a square of really thin strips of puff pastry and pushed it into a muffin tin, maybe put in a loose ball of tin foil to help keep the shape, it might bake up into a cup. As the pastry bakes, it swells, and would perhaps fill in the gaps so you could fill with chicken or shrimp salad. Line the cup with a bit of lettuce, if necessary.

                I think I have some frozen puff pastry. Maybe I'll do a test run tomorrow. I'll post my results in a separate thread -- good, bad, or indifferent!

                1. re: nemo

                  This sounds intriguing. Do let us know how it works.

                  On a similar but unrelated note, I saw a picture in a cookbook eons ago where strips of puff pastry were shaped along an apple and baked. Not so that it all filled in like you're thinking but so that you had these strips winding up the apple. It was very pretty. I did try it but the juice from the apple made the pastry soggy on the bottom. I think the original recipe anticipated that and dealt with it but I had deviated from it somehow. Not a problem you will run into.

                  1. re: karykat

                    karykat: no time to try the puff pastry today, so when I do, I will post on a new thread...and I may use your name in the title to catch your attention! The apple dumpling thing sounds lovely, but good to know it's tricky.

                    1. re: nemo

                      Sounds good! I will watch. When you get to it.