More often that not, croutons are an almost forgotten addition to salads and soups. They tend to be pretty flavorless and have a texture that can be, let’s say, a little too crunchy. Who says that croutons can’t be refined? My Salt & Pepper Puff Pastry Croutons are the perfect way to elevate any salad. You can either toss them in, or even serve on the side (in a beautiful basket) as an especially chic bread course!
Believe me, they are so delicious, you might not have any left to make it to the table for your guests! Speaking of guests, these croutons make a fabulous canapé (just sprinkle them with Parmesan or Gruyère) to serve with drinks as your guests arrive. If you are new to baking with puff pastry, one thing to keep in mind is to work quickly. The pastry will become more difficult to handle as it warms up. These can be made in any shape you like, so if you have any fun cookie cutters on hand, get as creative as you want!
Salt & Pepper Puff Pastry Croutons
Egg – 1 extra-large, lightly beaten
Water – 1 tablespoon
Frozen Puff Pastry – defrosted overnight in the refrigerator
Flour – for preparing work surface
Fleur de Sel – 1 teaspoon
Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon, freshly cracked
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, beat 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water.
Place 1 sheet of thawed puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Brush with the beaten egg. Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon of Fleur de Sel and 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper.
Using a cutter of your choice, cut the sheet of pastry into shapes. Transfer each piece of pastry to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown.
Tip: You can make these croutons up to two days in advance and store in a sealed container. Simply reheat on a baking sheet in a 350 degrees F oven for 5 - 10 minutes and you will have perfectly crisp puff pastry croutons!