Crunchy Blue Cheese Bread Croutons

by Kate Heyhoe

  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 loaf stale, hearty bread, cut in 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 bottle (6 ounces) ale (Sierra Nevada Pale Ale)
  • 1 cup crumbled Stilton or other blue cheese
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with the melted butter, reserving most of it for later. Place the cubes in a large bowl and lightly moisten them with the ale (use as much or as little as necessary), stirring with a large spoon or your hands. Spread them on the baking sheet and press the crumbled cheese on top of each one. Drizzle with the remaining butter and sprinkle with cracked pepper to taste. Bake for 10—15 minutes, until crunchy. These make excellent snacks by themselves or serve with soup or salad.

(Note: We adapted this recipe from one appearing in Real Beer and Good Eats, by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. The original recipe, while tasty in ingredients, used a technique that proved impractical, calling for 1/2-inch cubes to be rolled in the crumbled cheese. While this might be appropriate for a hard grated cheese like Parmesan, the soft, moist Stilton resisted adhering to the cubes. Hence we came up with this method which works far better.)


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