Whatever happened to 'normal' sized croutons?

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Linda0818

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I mean the ones you can buy in the grocery store. I recall Pepperidge Farm having these great little cheese-flavored croutons, which were my favorites. And they were nice and small. Now all you can buy are these humongous "homestyle" type croutons that, if you're not careful, can break your teeth. I hate them.

I've sometimes made my own croutons with old bread. But I like having bags of store-bought croutons around, especially at work. I keep them in my desk for when I have salads for lunch. But I can't find the 'little' ones anymore.

Does anyone even still sell them? Is there maybe an online store I can buy them from?
 

pepperhead212

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I know exactly what you mean, @Linda0818 - those cubes, around 1/2 to 5/8 inch, that used to be the standard. I'm guessing that it must be cheaper to make the large ones.
 

Linda0818

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I haven't looked, but you could take a rolling pin to the bag and break them down a bit.
I've actually done that a couple of times, using something to break up the croutons. But then I end up with a bunch of crumbs and tiny little pieces that I can't really use in a salad. I pick out the pieces that are salvageable, but the whole process is more trouble than it's worth.
 

Linda0818

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I know exactly what you mean, @Linda0818 - those cubes, around 1/2 to 5/8 inch, that used to be the standard. I'm guessing that it must be cheaper to make the large ones.
Well I'm going to sue them all because I want the little ones back! LOL

And what happened to the emojis? No more little smiley faces that we can put into our posts. Why did they get rid of those??? :-(
 

pepperhead212

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The emojis are there, just not as easy to access. :blink: I just click that middle section in the row of them above, a Smiley face is one, of a number of choices that pops up, click that, and the emojis choices pop up, and after 2 more clicks it is "inserted"! Did I miss an easier way? :ohmy:
 

cookiecrafter

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I remember croutons! There were so many flavors. I am finding the same combo seasonings on the cracker isle. Croutons may have become larger than you imagine.
 

Linda0818

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I remember croutons! There were so many flavors. I am finding the same combo seasonings on the cracker isle. Croutons may have become larger than you imagine.
May have? They absolutely did become larger. And harder. It's difficult to eat the large ones. Some of them are so hard that I can barely bite into them.
 

cookiecrafter

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May have? They absolutely did become larger. And harder. It's difficult to eat the large ones. Some of them are so hard that I can barely bite into them.
I stopped buying them when I couldn't find them on the salad dressing isle or near the produce dept near the garden seed display. Once saw them on the top shelf where nobody can reach. The only thing I could see was the expiration date!
 

pepperhead212

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If you want a bread that I have found absolute best, if you want to make your own croutons, it's pain de mie, made with the classic lidded pan, with a stick of butter in a loaf with 6½ c flour. It can be cut into cubes, as desired, and either fried in some butter or oil, or cooked in the oven - the high butter in the dough makes it brown well without extra oil added.
 

dragnlaw

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My DIL always makes the croutons, don't think I've ever seen her buy any. I did eat them when they came on a Caesar Salad (I believe that's wehre they started from?) But not any more. I dislike them to the point of pushing them off the salad.

Only time I use them is for French Onion Soup. In place of a slice of French Bread or Baguette on top of the soup I use cubes. Far friendlier to eat.
 

Linda0818

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I stopped buying them when I couldn't find them on the salad dressing isle or near the produce dept near the garden seed display. Once saw them on the top shelf where nobody can reach. The only thing I could see was the expiration date!

They're still with the salad dressing and some in the produce dept. here. Speaking of what's in the produce dept, I also like the wonton strips you can buy for salads. But sometimes I just want good ole croutons.

If you want a bread that I have found absolute best, if you want to make your own croutons, it's pain de mie, made with the classic lidded pan, with a stick of butter in a loaf with 6½ c flour. It can be cut into cubes, as desired, and either fried in some butter or oil, or cooked in the oven - the high butter in the dough makes it brown well without extra oil added.

I'm not even sure where I would start looking for something like that. Sounds good, though!

My DIL always makes the croutons, don't think I've ever seen her buy any. I did eat them when they came on a Caesar Salad (I believe that's wehre they started from?) But not any more. I dislike them to the point of pushing them off the salad.

Only time I use them is for French Onion Soup. In place of a slice of French Bread or Baguette on top of the soup I use cubes. Far friendlier to eat.

Yep, I believe you're right. Caesar Salad. And from there I think everyone thought they needed to make their croutons enormous. I push them off, too.

I guess I'm going to have to continue making my own croutons in bigger batches and take some to work with me.
 

pepperhead212

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Linda0818

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@Linda0818 Here's the large pain de mie pan I have, showing the vertical sides and ends, and the lid that slides on, causing the dough to expand into a rectangular, compacted bread, that is great for croutons, and many other things. Probably my favorite bread for grilled cheese, but probably why I don't bake it much anymore!
Larger pain de mie pan, showing the lid slid almost all the way on. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Very interesting indeed. I've never seen one of those before. Now I'm curious and will look up some more info!
 

Linda0818

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Oh my goodness, look how beautiful this is. I may have to put away my dislike for baking and try making a loaf, once I find the pan.
6279-3-large.jpg
 

pepperhead212

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That's the loaf! A lot of classic French dishes trim the thin crusts off, to use it, but I rarely do that. But if so, they make good bread crumbs, too. ;)
 

GotGarlic

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Is that pan also not called a "Pullman"? am I mistaken?
Yes, it is. Pain de mie is the French term; it basically means bread of the center of the loaf, because there is so little crust. George Pullman, who pioneered food service on trains in the United States, used them, so they became known here as a Pullman loaf.
 

dragnlaw

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LOL, thanks GG. I often wondered what a bread pan had to do with the Pullman train carriages, usually referring to sleeping cars.
Now I know! thanks again.
Actually, I used to think that it was because the sleeping compartments were so enclosed, just like the pan! LOL
 

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