A half-loaf of home-made sourdough bread was a couple days old, and tired of being stored in the fridge. I decided to make croutons with it for the week’s luncheon salads. I poured olive oil, spices, parsley and fresh rosemary into a Pop-It storage box (made with safe materials in Italy), then tossed the bread squares in and shook the thing with all my might to coat them well. With ambient heat from the oven while baking the croutons, a new loaf of bread was rising nearby. Sliced thinly, the croutons were ready after ten minutes in a 350° oven. Cooled croutons were poured into elegant jars to be used at table. And they won’t need to be stored for long; these croutons will quickly be poured out onto salads. @M-J de Mesterton
See Elegant Cook for M-J’s Original Brioche Recipe with Step-By-Step Photos
I have been using silicone bakeware to make my Viennoiseries. It allows easy-release of baked items without pre-greasing, and I can even coat my brioche completely with beaten egg and it will brown all around, still coming out clean from the bakeware when done.
The internet is full of recipes for pain Français. Choose the one that seems right for your kitchen, because people have varied results depending on many factors. There is a detailed tutorial at The Sour Dough blog, based upon the French bread recipe and method of Julia Child. Here is another instructive page, at the Smithsonian museum, which houses Julia Child’s television kitchen. Remember to use only unbleached white flour, and to create moisture in the oven while your loaves are baking.
If you wish to dry apples for future use, in case of an electrical outage, here is an easy, instructive page on the subject, at pick Your Own. I do not recommend drying fruit or vegetables in your car, however, because mice do find ways into your vehicles, old OR new. I like to dry my things in the sun, using clear plastic vegetable or berry containers from the grocery store. I make sure they will not be penetrated by insects, nor blown away with the wind, by selective plastic-wrapping (leaving some apertures for air) and anchoring them with heavy objects.
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