homemade croutons

Around here, Caesar Salad makes a fairly regular appearance at the dinner table.  I generally make it once every week or two.  It used to drive me nuts though, when I’d plan to make it, and then, at the last minute, discover that I was out of croutons.   How frustrating is that?  Well, my friends,  it doesn’t have to be that way.  Here’s what you’re going to do about it!

Go to your bread drawer/basket/box or wherever you keep your bread stash, and pull out something stale.  Anything:  French loaf, Ciabatta, homemade bread, hot-dog buns.  Whatever you’ve got.  I made these with a couple of hamburger buns that had been in the drawer for a week.

Aren’t they pretty?  I didn’t even jazz them up with spices or flavouring, and they were delicious.  These are SO easy to make, you won’t believe you haven’t done this before (unless you have actually done this before, in which case, you really don’t need to read any further).

Here’s the drill:

Grab your stale bread cut it up into chunky cubes.

Now toss those cubes into a bowl and drizzle some Olive Oil onto them.  You don’t need a lot.  I’d start with a tbsp.  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, maybe go for a tsp at a time. You could add some flavour at this point too: grated parmesan, garlic powder, oregano – whatever suits your fancy.

Now, spread your cubes out on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven at 325 for 10 minutes or so.  You’ll want to toss them a couple of times during the baking process until they’re all nice and toasty-brown.

That’s it, that’s all!  How easy was that?  Bonus:  You can store them for a couple of weeks in an airtight container or zip-lock bag (I personally like to use cereal box liners and a twist tie for this kind of thing, instead of a zip-loc bag. The box liners are sturdy, airtight, and FREE,  and I feel good re-using them before throwing them in the recycle bin.

Say bye-bye to those rock-hard, fakey-bakey croots you’ve been buying up ’til now.  Once you try these, crispy little gems, you won’t look back!

(And yes, that’s real bacon.  Probably still warm.  Mmmmmm-Mmm!)

Yours in play, Jackie from Happy Hooligans

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