Homemade croutons are scrumptious! Somehow that is the word that best describes them… scrumptious. I don’t know when or why I started making my own croutons, because it is not something I grew up with, but somewhere along the way I decided to try out making homemade croutons and I have never turned back. I have always been comfortable in the kitchen so I never really thought anything of making them, but when I brought a salad with them in it to a party recently there was a conversation that went something like this:
Friend: These croutons are awesome, where did you get them?
Me: The croutons? Oh, I made them.
Friend: Blank stare…. Puzzled look… What do you mean? You made them? How do you even do that!?
This isn’t the first time that this has happened but it does tell you two things. 1. Homemade croutons are pretty amazing, and 2. People have no clue you can make them!
If you have been following our recipes you will know that I really only make things that are easy and these definitely fall in that category. The other awesome thing is that making croutons allows you to use up any old bread that is not good for much else! So now you have options other than french toast!
So here is the simple method.
First pick your bread. It can be any bread. The one pictured is the left over half of a loaf of rosemary bread (from Costco) that we had eaten for dinner the night before. My friend referenced above argued that they don’t keep bread and rarely have it with dinner. Well, that is the best part! I usually end up making the croutons with my left over sandwich bread! You don’t have to buy fancy smanchy bread to do this. You really can just use anything! The only time I use fancy bread is if, like in this case it is left over from dinner , or if I am bringing the salad to something fancy where I really want to make it special.
After you pick your bread you are going to want to cube it up. If you want crunchier croutons then make smaller cubes, if you want them crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside then cut bigger cubes. I prefer mine cut pretty small. Also, just use however much you have on hand. Don’t worry if you have more or less than the recipe calls for because it is totally scalable and meant to just use up the leftovers.
Throw the cubed bread in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. In the recipe I say 2 tbsp but really it will vary depending on the amount of bread you use. Just toss the bread to lightly coat.
Next you add the garlic powder and salt and toss again to evenly distribute. Again, there are suggestions but it is really just to taste based on the amount of bread you use. I will tell you that it is much more garlic than you would normally use in things. I think because it broils in the oven it really tones down the garlic.
Spread your seasoned bread evenly onto a cookie sheet. Put them into the oven on the low broil setting for 6 minutes. Using a spatula try and flip them over as best you can so the opposite side can brown and put back in the oven for another 6 minutes. At that point if they are browned to your liking then take them out. If you want them a little crispier then you can put them on high broil for another 1-2 minutes.
Let them cool down and enjoy! Fresh, crunchy, scrumptious croutons! The perfect topping for your favorite salad. If you make extra, which I usually do, they store great in a ziplock bag and you can have them on hand anytime you want a salad!
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- 1/2 loaf bread
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Turn on the oven to low broil.
- Cut bread into small cubes and put into a bowl.
- Toss with olive oil then garlic and salt until well coated and evenly distributed.
- Layer evenly onto a cookie sheet and place in oven.
- Bake 6 min then flip over croutons and bake an additional 6 min.
- If a darker browning is desired, flip again and broil on high an additional 1-2 min.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)