Croutons are something I love to make from scratch. They’re one of those things that supports the theory that homemade always tastes better.
It works a little better with day-old bread, but I almost never seem to have that on hand when I go to make croutons. But, when I do notice that the bread I have is getting stale, I do love using it up this way.
You can use any type of bread for this, too, which is awesome. What I used for the photos in this post was a regular white-wheat sandwich bread.
Also, I leave the crust on the bread when I made croutons. You don’t have to, but I love that additional layer of extra crunchiness upon the crunchiness of cube of mad crunchy goodness.
First off, dice your bread into pieces about an inch square. They can be bigger, just make sure they’re uniform so they cook evenly.
Throw all the bread pieces into a large bowl. Generously drizzle olive oil over the bread. I use extra virgin because I love the sharp, distinctive taste it gives the finished product.
Then generously sprinkle the bread with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Mix well, adding more oil if the bread still seems dry and adding more spices if they don’t prominently appear on the bread.
Then generously drizzle the olive oil over a cookie sheet that’s been covered with foil (for easy clean up). Spread out the bread pieces over the pan. Drizzle with a little more oil, if any pieces don’t appear fully saturated, and sprinkle a little more salt, pepper, and garlic powder over the pieces.
Don’t be shy with the spices; they’re what gives these little beauties flavor. The salt and garlic may be a little harder to see, but you should be able to see the pepper on every single piece of bread.
Don’t be afraid of flavor. The croutons won’t taste as strong once you mix them into a salad or throw them in a soup.
Of course, in my house, we eat these things by the handful.
Anyway, then you’ll bake them in a preheated oven at 250 degrees F for about 20 or 25 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Be sure to watch them because it only takes a couple of minutes to go from done to burnt.
Also, I didn’t type up an actual recipe for this because it’s all about personal preference. So, just to review, here are the basics: mix diced bread with plenty of olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Bake at 250F for 20 minutes. Enjoy.
Also, these croutons keep well. Sometimes I even think they taste better the next day.
To be sure your croutons keep well for at least a week (though I’ve kept them longer) just store them in a closed container (Tupperware) with a paper towel or napkin at the bottom of the container to collect extra moisture.
Here are some recipes where I’ve used them: