There are plenty of baked goods that call for puff pastry, such as tarts and sausage rolls, to name just two. However, once your baking is done and dusted, you may still find yourself with scraps of the dough left over. More often than not, those scraps get tossed into the garbage bin.
But, rather than throw them away, why not repurpose them into crunchy, seasoned bites that work as a crouton replacement? That pastry dough tossed with your favorite herbs and spices and then baked until crisp can make for a unique way to get some crunch into your salads. Plus, they only take a few minutes to make, meaning you don't have to spend too much extra time in the kitchen.
To use this savvy trick, however, there are a couple of things you'll want to keep in mind as you go along. Plus, it pays to have some ideas up your sleeve for how to use your croutons once they come out of the oven!
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Prepping Your Puff Pastry Scraps
When converting puff pastry pieces into tasty croutons, you want to work with soft dough. If the pastry scraps are frozen, let them sit out at room temperature until they're still chilled but are soft when you touch them. When the dough is ready to go, you'll then want to cut the scraps up. Although they're probably not huge chunks, you still want to make sure they're bite-sized pieces for your salads and soups. You can cut them into fun shapes or simply chop them randomly into small pieces. What matters is making sure they're small enough to work as croutons.
Once your croutons are the right size, it's time to start the seasoning. To get started, drizzle some oil or melted butter over the top. Or, you can brush the croutons with a little mayo or an egg wash. Regardless of which you choose, this wash will not only help imbue your bite-sized toppings with a bit of extra flavor, but it'll also give them an appetizing golden-brown color.
Season, Bake And Taste Your Puff Pastry Croutons
Once you've prepped your puff pastry, it's time to start seasoning them. This is where you can really let your creative flair fly. A bit of sea salt can work well for a simple, buttery crouton, while you could also add things like oregano, onion powder, and rosemary for a more herbal taste. Another choice could be to sprinkle them with a bit of grated parmesan. You could also make dessert croutons by sprinkling them with cinnamon and sugar.
After selecting your seasoning, sprinkle or toss your pastry pieces with your favorite spices. Then, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the puff pastry for about 10 minutes or until they're golden brown. Once they're out of the oven, it's time to use them how you see fit. Buttery croutons can make an excellent addition to your favorite bowl of soup, for instance, while cheesy croutons could go well with a tasty salad. If you made sweet croutons, you could use them to dip in a chocolate fondue. Whichever route you go, next time you're baking with puff pastry, don't throw those scraps in the bin. Hang onto them and get ready to make a simple yet tasty crouton from them!
Read the original article on Daily Meal.