I make homemade croutons every week. In fact, I buy extra bread specifically for croutons. Croutons get my family to eat more vegetables. Homemade croutons garnish every salad and float atop every soup I serve.
Who am I kidding? Here's why we go through so many croutons: because we eat them standing up at the counter straight from the baking sheet. Homemade croutons are one of the most delicious snacks known to humankind. They're crunchy and salty. You won't be able to stop licking your lips. Or your fingers.
Homemade croutons are exponentially better than store-bought croutons, and they're extremely easy to make. In fact, making croutons seems so basic to me that I wondered whether it even warranted a recipe. I asked my Facebook friends and they said yes, they would welcome a post on how to make croutons. So here we are.
My favorite bread for croutons is La Brea Bakery rosemary olive oil bread, which, conveniently, I get at my local Costco. I like sturdy croutons with a good hefty chew, and the sturdier the bread, the sturdier the croutons. But you can really make croutons out of any kind of bread. More delicate bread like challah or brioche yields a dainty crouton. Dense, hefty bread makes solid nuggets. Play around and see what you like.
Tips: Leave the crusts on. Don't use your best olive oil. Cut the cubes of bread small enough that you won't break your teeth on the finished croutons. And make more than you think you need.
Turn extra bread into salty, oil-slicked croutons in less than half an hour. Use them to dress up salad or soup if you can keep yourself from eating them straight from the oven.
- 1 loaf rustic bread (try sourdough, French bread, Italian bread or La Brea Bakery rosemary olive oil loaf)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3/4 tsp garlic salt (substitute 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp granulated garlic and 1/4 tsp dried parsley)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Cut the loaf of bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Spread the cubes of bread on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the bread, then sprinkle the garlic salt on top. Using your hands, toss the bread cubes until they are evenly coated with the oil and garlic salt.Bake the croutons approximately 20 minutes, until they are a light golden brown (start checking after 15 minutes). Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the croutons cool on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container or zip-top bag up to 1 week. If you keep them longer you'll notice that the oil will develop an off taste.
DetailsPrep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: approximately 6 cups