Rock Solid Baguettes

Taking a fresh baguette of French bread and dipping it in some extra virgin olive oil is a taste made in heaven.  But those tasty little baguettes have almost no shelf life.  My kids love them.  The problem is that when I buy them it may be on a day where the kids are really busy and never get to them.  Of course by the next day they are hard and stale.  You can buy a day or two by wrapping them in plastic, but they are never as good as that first day.  The crust either gets soft when you wrap it, or the whole thing gets rock hard if you don’t.  So inevitably I end up with a certain amount of rock hard baguettes.  And it doesn’t have to be a baguette, all bread has this happen.  It just takes a little longer.  So here’s the solution.  Take the rock hard baguette and break in into at least 3 pieces.  If that is hard to do, than just wack it on the edge of your counter.  Next, place it in a large sealable bag and seal the bag.  Now take your meat tenderizer (or a hammer if you don’t have one) and gently pound the bread into very small chunks (if you want it finer at this point just put it in your food processor).  Now you have some really high quality bread crumbs.  These are excellent for crusting fish, chicken, tenderloins, shrimp, or any dish that needs a crust or breading.  If you season them and work a little olive oil into them you can bake them on top of your protein and they will brown up beautifully.  So next time your bread gets rock hard, make some gourmet bread crumbs.  They taste great and are a great savings over Panko.