Bread Toast Crumbs by Alexandra Stafford

Bread Toast Crumbs: Recipes for No-Knead Loaves & Meals to Savor Every Slice by Alexandra Stafford is the debut cookbook from the writer behind Alexandra's Kitchen. I love this book!

Right off, we learn that for years the author's mother lied about her bread recipe (stating it was a King Arthur recipe from the back of the bag) whenever anyone asked for it. That recipe - the subject of fun-spirited deceit for years - has never been shared until now - it's front and center at the beginning of this book. This story won me over. I want to hang with the author and her mom.

There are 75 pages of gorgeous bread recipes from Apple, Almond, and Thyme Bread to Dark Chocolate Loaf in the Bread section. The Toast portion shares 60 pages of recipes to use those loaves from Breakfast Strata with Sausage, Onion and Cheddar to Tarragon Chicken Salad Sandwiches. The author finishes with Crumbs which has 70 pages of recipes for Salads, Sides, Pasta, Mains and Sweets.

The selection of recipes are a perfect balance to make any cook happy - breads that are totally approachable and recipes to utilize those bread recipes are a huge bonus. I made the Vinaigrette Toasts with Soft-Boiled Eggs for Andrew and myself the other evening and it was wonderful. We already have several other recipes slated to be made - the Orecchiette with Brown Butter, Brussels Sprouts, and Crumbs, Fried Custard Cream, and the Savory Monkey Bread with Gruyére, Scallions and Bacon - yes please.

Bread Toast Crumbs would make an ideal gift for Mother's Day, a hostess gift, housewarming present (with something made from the pages as a bonus) or a just because you deserve a beautiful cookbook gift. I'm hoping that The Cookbook Junkies Cookbook Club will cook through it this Fall.

Special thanks to Alexandra and Clarkson Potter for sharing this showstopping Frittata with our members - a great dish to make for Mother's Day brunch!  Be sure to head over to our contest page to enter our giveaway for three copies of Alexandra's book along with a lovely bowl and bowl cover set supplied by the author herself for one lucky winner. 
 

FRITTATA WITH MUSTARD CROUTONS AND FONTINA
SERVES 2
 
Dressed in a mustard vinaigrette before toasting in the oven, shards of bread crisp into irresistible morsels. These chewy bites add texture to a frittata, where they soften and absorb the flavor of the eggs. Cubing the fontina, as opposed to grating it, allows it to suspend in the baked eggs, where it gently melts without totally disappearing. Any extra croutons can be tossed into a salad on the side, the perfect accompaniment for this simple dinner or lunch for two. 
 
for the mustard croutons
 
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon vinegar (white wine, red wine, cider, or white balsamic)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste
2 cups ¾-inch-cubed bread, such as peasant bread (see page 22), Three Seed Bread (page 28), Roasted Garlic Bread (page 49), Cheesy Cheddar and Parmigiano Bread (page 52), or Potato Bread (page 53)
 
for the frittata
 
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup finely diced onion
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
4 large eggs, beaten
½ cup ¼-inch-cubed fontina cheese
 
1. Make the mustard croutons: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the bread cubes and toss to coat. Spread onto a rimmed sheet pan in an even layer, transfer it to the oven, and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden. Remove the pan from the oven and set it aside. Leave the oven on. 
 
2. Make the frittata: In an 8-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet (see Note), melt the butter over high heat. Add the onion and immediately reduce the heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened slightly. 
 
3. Add the beaten eggs to the skillet. Use a spatula to drag the edges of the eggs toward the center. Stir in this fashion for 1 to 2 minutes, until the eggs just begin to hold their shape. Add 1 cup of the mustard croutons and scatter the cheese on top.

4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the frittata until just set, 2 to 5 minutes, keeping a close watch to prevent overcooking-the eggs will continue to cook out of the oven. 
 
5. Remove the frittata from the oven, cut it into wedges, and serve. 
 
NOTE: An ovenproof nonstick skillet is best for making this a hassle-free endeavor. This frittata bakes best on the small scale-an 8-inch pan allows for even and quick cooking.

30 Comments

  • rchesser  on  4/26/2017 at 1:17 PM

    My favorite bread to make is brioche.

  • lgroom  on  4/26/2017 at 1:32 PM

    I have an onion and herb bread that I make at least once a week.

  • jr0717  on  4/26/2017 at 2:45 PM

    I love Alexandra's recipes, and can't wait to get a copy of her book. I love making focaccia, but am eager to learn new bread techniques!

  • HalfSmoke  on  4/26/2017 at 4:08 PM

    Kalamata olive bread

  • AnnaZed  on  4/26/2017 at 6:05 PM

    I feel like such a rube, I had never heard of her before this year and now this book is such a sensation; I really want to delve into it. I bake a lot.

  • FrenchCreekBaker  on  4/26/2017 at 10:07 PM

    My favorite to make is ciabatta bread.

  • nandag  on  4/26/2017 at 11:46 PM

    I like to make quick breads like banana, pumpkin, etc. I also like making pizza dough which is a sort of bread.

  • FireRunner2379  on  4/27/2017 at 12:28 AM

    I've never been great at making bread and would love to learn more. My favorite bread is sourdough and I wish mine tasted better!

  • sipa  on  4/27/2017 at 10:30 AM

    Lately I've enjoyed baking bialys but I bake sourdough pretty regularly.

  • dbielick  on  4/27/2017 at 11:41 AM

    Dakota bread from Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland

  • meggan  on  4/27/2017 at 1:38 PM

    Sourdough Rye

  • gjelizabeth  on  4/27/2017 at 10:31 PM

    Who is David and why does what he is reading have anything to do with this giveaway?

  • jezpurr  on  4/27/2017 at 10:40 PM

    I don't have a favorite bread I make, but I love making it!!!^_^

  • RSW  on  4/28/2017 at 6:16 AM

    Favorite is foccacia

  • sgump  on  4/28/2017 at 3:43 PM

    I make a lot of quick breads, but I like to surprise folks every now and then with popovers (with a touch of cornmeal, for texture).

  • doughet  on  4/28/2017 at 5:31 PM

    So many recipes in this book sound great, but I'm really intrigued by the bacon, cheddar, and onion jam panini.

  • Siegal  on  4/29/2017 at 9:25 AM

    Challah is my fav bread to make

  • imaluckyducky  on  4/29/2017 at 9:47 AM

    Asiago and peppercorn sourdough is my favorite to make and eat!

  • JenJoLa  on  5/1/2017 at 4:25 PM

    I tend to make wheat bread more than anything.

  • GeneratorHalf  on  5/3/2017 at 12:58 AM

    I love making pizza dough

  • Alleycat  on  5/3/2017 at 12:16 PM

    I need to get this book. The recipes sound very approachable, even on busy days.

  • WideAngleMind  on  5/4/2017 at 7:39 PM

    I'd love to try making the Three Seed Bread!

  • AnnaZed  on  5/5/2017 at 6:34 PM

    I like to make a classic white, in truth I have not perfected it yet.

  • apprentice9  on  5/7/2017 at 7:47 AM

    My favorite bread to make is cornbread!

  • Mariarosa  on  5/7/2017 at 1:32 PM

    I love making kalamata olive bread

  • t.t  on  5/13/2017 at 12:49 AM

    I don't have a favorite--I'm always experimenting with new recipes.

  • bakeswithlove2369  on  5/16/2017 at 7:47 AM

    I learned how to make croissants and while it was so time saving..I loved making it. My favorite bread to make however is challah...from the first time I finally got it right...It is my favorite bread to make...I feel like my ancestors when I make it...I make it by hand from start to finish...so I can feel as if I was living in another era in another kitchen . My mother and grandmother didnt bake challah...so for me it was important

  • artmarcia  on  5/19/2017 at 9:20 PM

    My Mom used to make an egg dish with croutons--Delicious! I want to try this.

  • nomadchowwoman  on  5/22/2017 at 6:02 PM

    I love making no-knead ciabatta.

  • blue_ribbon_baker  on  5/25/2017 at 7:26 AM

    Toasted Brioche with Caramel and Sea Salt!

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