Making fried bread cubes is a good way to use up old bread. Besides deep-frying croutons, you can spray a mist of oil onto partially dried bread cubes (flavour with dried herbs for western style soups and salads) and pan fry them or they can be baked in the oven. However, the only type of croutons for an authentic local Chicken Macaroni Soup is this version of croutons made from a loaf of store bought white bread. Feel free to substitute with slices of your favourite crusty loaf. There is always the temptation to make double the quantity of this recipe and use the croutons for other soups.
To make the fried bread crumbs, use a serrated knife and either trim or don’t trim these slices of bread and cut them into cubes.
Next, heat the oil. Watch how quickly the chopstick end sizzles and adjust heat. In this photo, from the “wavy” movement of the oil and the lack of plenty of bubbles around the chopstick, the oil is not yet hot enough. Heat for another few mins. Test with one bread cube.
When oil temperature is right, add the bread cubes. Watch the bread cubes and adjust heat accordingly. Too high heat will cause bread cubes to burn.
Remove the bread cubes when they turn golden brown in colour. Colour will deepen slightly when bread cubes cool.
Drain well. Serve or store in air-tight container.
Fried Bread Cubes
- 4 slices of white bread from a loaf of bread purchased at the supermarket
- 3 to 4 cups of oil for deep frying
- Trim and cube the bread slices.
- Optional Step but it does prevent bread cubes from absorbing too much oil. Lay bread cubes on a tray and dry cubes in one of two methods – Either place tray in the sun for at least an hour or so OR place it in a heated oven at 160°C for about 15 to 20 min. Divide bread cubes into 2 to 3 portions so as not to crowd them on the tray.
- Heat oil in a saucepan with the cover placed at an angle to let steam from heating oil escape. Covering the pot helps oil heat up much faster. Test temperature of oil. Dip a chopstick into hot oil. If bubbles appear around chopstick rapidly, lower to medium heat. Fry bread cubes one portion at a time. Lift cubes with a slotted spoon and place on paper kitchen towels to cool.