Thursday, March 20

How To Make Croutons

Transform stale bread into crunchy salad toppers with this simple recipe

How To Make Homemade Croutons

There are plenty of ways to repurpose leftover and stale bread (french toast, anyone?), but my favorite way is to make croutons. I keep the ends of leftover baguettes and loaves in a big plastic bag in the freezer so that I can whip up fresh croutons any time I need them. The basic idea is to cut or tear the bread into cubes, toss with olive oil, and season. Most of the time I make plain salted croutons, but sometimes I'll add in some fresh or dried herbs, spices, or even a sprinkle of cheese. These homemade croutons taste ten times better than hard-as-a-rock store-bought varieties and can keep fresh in an air-tight container for a couple days. They add the perfect crunch to a salad or as a garnish to a soup and a handful of them makes a nice snack while I'm cooking everything else.

Use Your Croutons in These Salads:
- Arugula, Corn, & Tomato Salad
- Kale Ribbon Salad with Parmesan & Garlic Vinaigrette
- Tricolore Salad with Parmesan & Anchovy

Homemade Croutons:
  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • Slice the crusts off a piece of leftover bread* and cut or tear into bite-size pieces.
  • Place the croutons on a baking sheet and toss with a few tbsp. of olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, and a tsp. or more of dried herbs.**
  • Use your hands to gently squeeze the croutons so that they absorbs more oil, then shake them into an even layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake the croutons for 10-15 minutes, turning once, or until they are crispy and golden.
  • Let cool, then toss into salads and serve or store in an airtight container.

Make as many as you want
*I usually use a leftover baguette or ciabatta. You can use fresh bread, but it might take longer for the croutons to get crispy.
**The exact amount of oil and seasonings depends on how much bread you use. Taste and adjust as you go.