Huey prefers "crunchy" with his gumbo, so I used to buy a small bag from the grocery deli, and since they were expensive, I decided to make my own. At one time, I could get small round loafs of dense bread, but the bread just kept getting bigger and softer. I tried a bread baked locally that has just the right texture and came up with the idea of slicing the bread in half. Friends and family look forward to our gumbo and croutons! These little babies are also perfect for appetizers. Just place your favorites on them...and snack away... that is... if you can keep them from eating them first!
1Get out your cutting board, electric knife, pastry brush, small microwave safe bowl and plate, and 1 large and 2 small cookie sheets, or 2 large and 1 small cookie sheet.
2Using an electric knife, slice the bread in half. (Find a french loaf that is not too dense and does not have a big air spaces. You may have to try a few before you find one that works well.)
3Stand the bread on the cut end, and slice the bread lengthwise, down the middle (rounded end of the bread through to the bottom cut edge).
4Lay cut sides down on the cutting board, and beginning with the cut end, slice each half into 1/2 inch, or slightly thinner slices. Leave slices together.
5Place margarine, garlic granules and parsley in microwave safe dish. Place dish on a small plate, cover, and place wax paper over margarine and tuck under plate, to prevent margarine from popping and splattering all over your microwave oven. Melt on high heat (approximately 1 1/2 minutes).
6Remove from microwave, and blend well.
7Using a pastry brush, brush one side of the bread, and place the coated side down on a cookie sheet. Once the sheet is full, lightly brush the tops with the mixture.
8Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown, and no longer soft.
9Immediately remove from baking pan, and place into an open container, and allow to thoroughly cool before covering.
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