How to make homemade croutons that are golden-brown-crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, using any-old leftover bread you have on hand.
It used to drive me nuts though, when I’d be all set to make it, and then discover at the last minute that we were out of croutons. So I decided one night to make my own croutons in the oven, and I was so excited to discover how easy they are to make, AND how much better they are than those crunchy (often rock-hard) store-bought croutons!
These croutons are so fresh, and they’re not filled with nasty preservatives like the ones that come in a box.
And the best part: you can make them with whatever bread you have on hand! Hotdog buns, croissants, kaisers, french loaf or just regular loaf-bread!
Once you start making your own croutons at home, you’ll never need to (or want to) buy store-bought again!
Yay! No more last-minute dash to the grocery store when you want to put a salad on the table!
Here’s how you make them!
Quick and easy homemade croutons:
Go to your bread basket or wherever you keep your bread stash, and pull out something that’s a bit on the stale side. Anything: French loaf, Ciabatta, homemade bread, hot-dog buns… Use whatever you’ve got. I made these with a few mini croissants that had been sitting in our bread drawer for a couple of weeks. They were very stale. Very stale is just fine.
Grab your stale bread cut it up into chunky cubes.
Now toss those cubes into a bowl and drizzle a little 0live oil over them. You don’t need a lot. Start with a tablespoon or so. Stir ’em up good. It’s going to seem like only a few have soaked up the oil, but you’ll see the sides of the bowl start to get oily, and you’ll kind of know that they’re all getting lightly coated. If you need to add more oil, just add a tsp at a time. You don’t want to soak your bread cubes.
You could add some flavour at this point too: a generous dash of parmesan, crushed oregano, basil or garlic powder. Whatever suits your fancy…
Now, spread your oiled bread cubes out on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for approx 10 minutes at 350ºF. You gently toss or stir your croutons at the 5 or 6 minute mark. I never really find it necessary, but if you want to, go for it.
By the 10 minute mark, they should be a toasty, golden-brown.
That’s it, that’s all! Wasn’t that quick and easy?
Storing your homemade croutons:
You can store your homemade croutons for a couple of weeks in an airtight container or zip-lock bag.
A friend of mine keeps hers on the counter in a sealed mason jar.
I like use this plastic cereal box inserts for this kind of thing. Much cheaper than a ziploc bag, and it makes me feel good giving the cereal liner an extra life before tossing it.
Aren’t they pretty? And oh, my! They are SO delicious!
Say good-bye to those rock-hard, artificial croutons you’ve been using. Once you try these, crispy-chewy little gems, you won’t look back!
More recipes for you to enjoy:
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