You decide! I can’t figure out what to call them. I can, however, figure out when I am going to eat them — with soup!
A great many people will recognize these Torta breads from Costco. My hubby loves them for almost anything. I’ve made paninis with them. They’re very good; a little sweet and a little more tender than ciabatta. One evening as I was slicing some to eat alongside dinner, I caught sight of the profile of a half-loaf someone had put back in the bag. It looked just like a little biscotti shape!
And so this idea was born.
I know there’s got to be a better name for these crunchy toasty slices, but I keep thinking they’re too big to be called croutons … although that’s what they are.
I’m not planning to float these on my soup, I’m planning to dunk them in some delicious soup broths this winter. That’s why I think of them as biscotti! They actually ARE twice baked, and they are meant to soak up liquid and become soft enough to eat. So, there ya have it! Biscotti.
Super simple to make, especially if you have the handsome Mr. Misto in your kitchen. A combination of misted-on olive oil and scraped-on butter gives these a great flavor and crispness. A quick toasting at high heat, then another bake at a lower temperature to dry out more still comes in at just 20 minutes in the oven.
Bread Biscotti for Soup
To prepare a 12″ x 18″ (half-sheet) pan, I sliced 5 Torta into 1/2″ slices, setting aside the uneven ends for making traditional croutons (or whatever. If the jam jar’s handy…)
Preheat your oven to 400F; place a rack in the lowest position. Cover the sheet pan with non-stick foil, if you have the luxury. (I loooooooove non-stick foil. I love it so much I give it a little hug everytime I pick it up to use it. Really. Would I make that up?)
Smear a layer of butter all over the foil using a partially unwrapped cube. (You’ll see why the partially unwrapped cube is important shortly.) Spray or drizzle a light layer of olive oil on top of the butter. Using my pal Mr. Misto will make that job easy. Now, stop and imagine what that pan will be like to clean, and go get yourself some non-stick foil if you don’t have any!
Arrange the torta slices cut sides down/up onto the butter and oil layer. Place them closely, and try not to scooch them around too much or some slices will not get their share.
Once the pan is filled, mist more olive oil over the top with — you guessed it! — Mr. Misto! I wonder if there’s a Mrs. Misto?
Bake 5 minutes at 400F on the bottom rack; remove from oven.
Steadying each slice with a fork, quickly rub the cube of butter over each hot slice of bread — so simple with that partially unwrapped cube to hold onto! You don’t want to add a lot of butter, just a bit more flavor and crunch-making goodness. I used between 1 and 2 Tbsp. for all these biscotti, total for both steps. (the hot bread makes this buttering step much easier than trying to do it at the beginning)
Return to oven for 5 more minutes at 400F.
Remove from oven; flip each one over — they should be golden underneath — then return to oven again, which you then immediately turn down to 300F.
This is what it looks like at this point — in the back are the unturned slices; in front, you can see that toasty goodness that happened on the underside.
Bake for 10 -15 minutes at 300F to your desired golden-brownness and until they are crisp on both sides, then transfer to a cooling rack until completely cool and dry.
Freeze in a zipper bag. Remove what is needed and thaw in the oven or a warm dry frying pan.
We find these fresh Torta breads get moldy fairly quickly; we usually freeze them within a couple days and use them from the freezer — no preservatives? I need to read the label! That is why I plan to freeze my finished product … which I still haven’t decided what to call.
Lincoln logs? ;)
After sampling half of one, fresh out of the oven, I don’t want to miss out on a single one of these soup dunking bread biscotti for any reason! They were delicious!
We’re looking forward to soup, and I plan on trying a few more recipes out of my beloved 300 Soups cookbook. A couple years ago, Sam and I started to cook and review a recipe a week, each, from this cookbook, with the goal to do the whole cookbook in 3 years… turns out that’s not really our style! But it is a VERY good cookbook and I am ready to try a few new soups this fall and winter.
And I will be eating them with these dunker-biscotti-crouton thingies. Morsels of crunchy, broth-gathering deliciousness.