The Unexpected Ingredient Gordon Ramsay Adds To Croutons

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay knows how to execute elegant dishes both in his restaurants and at home. His famed beef Wellington is so scrumptious, he even teaches a Masterclass on how home cooks can recreate the show-stopper in their own kitchens. However, Ramsay is still willing to shake things up, even when it comes to his classics. In 2021, Ramsay surprised the world by tweaking his traditional beef Wellington and turning it into "vegan beet Wellington." He debuted the creation on Instagram, with many fans approving of the unique and plant-based twist.

Viewers who watch Ramsay's YouTube channel know that he often shares tips and tricks to help elevate home cooks' cuisine in affordable and accessible ways. In his June 14 episode, he focuses on budget-friendly meals to cook at home. While he cooks up a dish dubbed "lamb with fried bread," he shares a unique tip to make the "perfect rustic crouton." Though the term "perfect" can sound intimidating, Ramsay's spin on the humble crouton involves an approachable method that any home cook can do.

Gordon Ramsay uses milk to make the perfect crouton

In a June 14 YouTube video about "budget recipes," Gordon Ramsay walks his viewers through the process of making lamb steak with fried bread. For the latter component, the chef tells his viewers to soak the slices of slightly stale bread in some milk. He acknowledges that this may sound strange, but assures us that it helps to hydrate the bread and gives a nice "creamy texture." Think of it in the same way French toast or bread pudding is soaked in liquid before being cooked. 

Ramsay isn't the only person who uses this technique. The food blog Mongry also has a recipe for "milk soaked pan-seared bread cubes." The author explains that when the bread is soaked in milk beforehand, it retains a soft interior while keeping a crispy crust. Ramsay also relies on using a loaf of bread that is a couple of days old. As A Nourishing Plate puts it, "Moisture = sogginess." Stale bread is dry, which makes it easier to achieve that perfect crouton crunch factor.

After the bread has soaked, Ramsay gently squeezes it to drain any excess liquid and adds the pieces to a searing hot pan with some olive oil. He achieves that perfect crunch by frying the croutons for a few minutes until the bread is golden and crispy. Croutons can be eaten plain, but they also make great sponges to sop up sauces and vinaigrette. Here, Ramsay adds them to seared lamb steak with a thick sauce made from garlic, anchovies, and parsley.