there’s been a lot of talk about homemade croutons lately. oh wait, i think pretty much all instigated by me. a friend on twitter was lamenting the demise of a loaf of bread i’m sure she had spent the better part of a day mixing, kneading, rising, and baking. my first thought was ‘croutons!’. in my mind, the baking gods had closed a door and opened a window for her. now, no one wants to spend the day making a batch of croutons, and thankfully you don’t have to. but it’s nice to know one is only ever 15-20 minutes away from a batch if there’s ever an emergency. homemade croutons are a completely different animal than store-bought. i can’t even remember the last time i bought a bag of croutons at the store–i have always loved to make them from leftover or stale bread. this is not a mind-blowing recipe, nor will it change your life. it’s just a method for baking glorious cubes of toasted bread that i’m glad i know of and would like to share. it also pleases the taurus in me to use up every last scrap of food.
homemade croutons (makes about 3-4 cups)
this is more of a method than a recipe. you can pretty much use whatever bread, oils, or herbs you have on hand.
approximately 1/3-1/2 loaf stale bread
several glugs good quality olive oil
1 tbsp fresh herbs (i used thyme)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
kosher salt and pepper
preheat oven to 350 degrees. cut bread into large cubes. you can leave the crust on or not. i prefer to leave it on for a more rustic taste and feel. place in a large bowl with all other ingredients and toss. you want to add enough oil to coat the bread but not make it soupy. pour onto a baking sheet with enough room in between the pieces so they brown freely. bake 13-15 minutes, turning once of twice for even browning.
allow to cool and store in a covered container or plastic bag for up to a week.