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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: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/re...

              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.

            2. Think sliced bread with no crusts... must be fresh.

              Push it into a greased muffin tin.

              Brush it with melted butter that has whatever spices (salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic) that you like.

              Brush it with a lot!

              Bake in a 300 degree oven until crispy. Let cool in the muffin tin to maintain shape.

              Put individual servings of salad in.

              10 Replies
              1. re: Jennalynn

                Yes, this is how we do it, but word to the wise, make extra cuz they are kinda futzy/tricky and you will have a few that dont turn out

                1. re: chrisinroch

                  Any tips on getting them out? I'm actually wanting to make a larger size than a muffin cup. Thinking of using an ovenproof cereal-size bowl. Do you line your container with wax paper or just spray it?

                  1. re: cpulliam

                    we just used gobs of butter in a non stick muffin pan. The trick is getting them to stay together through removal, sitting around, filling with salad or whatever and service.

                    We learned to make sure the bread was moist, even using a bit of water to get them moist and them mush the pieces together. I would imagine that the larger ones would be a bit trickier but not impossible.

                    1. re: cpulliam

                      Can't you just turn the muffin pan upside down and mold the bread strips on the outside of the cup. I'd think it would work that way and would be easier to unmold.

                  2. re: Jennalynn

                    Thanks Jennalynn! Sounds exactly like what I was looking for.

                    1. re: cpulliam

                      another great treat to serve salad in would be a parmesan frico--just spreak parmesan grated into circles on a baking sheet. broil til melted together and golden then drape over a glass or bowl to form the cup shape immediately out of the oven before they harden.. they're lacy, pretty, and tasty.

                      1. re: Emme

                        If you use bread, use fresh bread that you can roll out with a rolling pin and then cut into strips. The other thing I saw was a bacon basket for salad...http://www.notmartha.org/archives/200...

                        1. re: chef chicklet

                          That's one of the coolest things I've ever seen! I know, I live a sheltered life....but wow. Thanks for sharing.

                          1. re: cpulliam

                            On not Martha, she said she had a slightly hard time removing the bowls from the foil.

                            I'd try the Reynolds Release foil, I'd bet that would work great.

                            1. re: Jennalynn

                              I know op wanted a bread bowl or sort of, but I couldn't resist showing this,it was sent to me by a friend and I flipped when I saw it! Don't know if I could eat all that bacon but sure is purty!

                  3. I was thinking about this and wondering if you could create a bowl from breadstick dough. I learned a trick a few years ago to use a pasta roller to create really thin, crispy breadsticks. Seems like you could roll out little breadsticks then form them around your cereal bowl?

                    1. Round clay pot (ala Pampered Chef ceramic bowls) turned upside down and placed on a large oven proof tray is then draped with fresh pizza dough, brushed completely with olive oil and baked for 30 mins. in a 375 degree oven. Once cool, bowl pops off the ceramic pot and works beautifully as a salad bowl or bread basket.

                      Over the years, we've adapted other bread doughs (rye, sourdough, Challah) but the pizza dough remains our favorite.