Easy Delicious Crunchy Homemade Croutons

Summer time is salad time in our house.  I crave the crisp summer greens and colorful veggies all tossed together with a yummy dressing.  The topper of choice to make my salads the absolute best is my easy, delicious, crunchy, homemade croutons.

These also work great crushed into crumbs for my Aglio Olio recipe.

Easy and delicious homemade croutons. So tasty and worth the small effort to make them up. They store in a sealed container for a week or so.

I use a loaf of rustic french bread a young man bakes. He has a side business baking the yummiest bread for the local wineries and restaurants then delivers it fresh from the oven.   I know most of you don’t have access to such a source a good dense french bread will work great or I have used the Torta rolls from Costco and they are just as delicious.

Cube your bread, you can make them larger or smaller as you please, I usually have mine roughly about 1 inch.  Smaller ones will be easier for kids to eat, they are quite crunchy.  You only have to shorten to baking time for smaller croutons.

My ingredients are as follows:

French Bread (I usually don’t make an entire loaf into croutons but around 2 to 3 cups of bread cubes)
Salt (to taste)
Pinch of black pepper
1 clove garlic (I also have used granulated garlic in lieu of the fresh)
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Butter
Fresh Parsley (optional) You can add any herb you like and switch up the flavors.  I also have used some Parmesan or Asiago cheese on them and it adds a great flavor.

Easy Delicious Croutons, bake your own from leftover french bread or sour dough for an amazing addition to your salads, pasta or eat as a crunch snack. So easy and a great way to use up left over bread.

On low heat saute your sliced garlic clove in the olive oil, you don’t want it to turn dark brown, just a golden color.  If you cook it on too high of a heat and get it too dark the garlic turns bitter. (if using granulated garlic skip this step)

Easy and delicious homemade croutons. So tasty and worth the small effort to make them up. They store in a sealed container for a week or so.
Strain out the garlic pieces so you are left with a garlic flavored oil.

Melt your butter into the olive oil and drizzle both over your bread cubes.

Easy and delicious homemade croutons. So tasty and worth the small effort to make them up. They store in a sealed container for a week or so.

Toss cubes gently as you drizzle to distribute the liquid evenly over your cubes.  They should not be drenched with oil/butter but only slightly moistened.
Snip your fresh herbs (if using) using kitchen shears and a small bowl.  This technique is so much easier for me than chopping them with a knife. The small bowl keeps them in a tight location so the tips of the shears snip them easily into small bits.

Easy and delicious homemade croutons. So tasty and worth the small effort to make them up. They store in a sealed container for a week or so.

Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and herbs (if using granulated garlic this is when you would add it) Toss to coat the bread cubes well.  The oil/butter mix moistening the bread should help the herbs and spices to stick to the cubes.

Easy and delicious homemade croutons. So tasty and worth the small effort to make them up. They store in a sealed container for a week or so.

Spread the cubes on a baking sheet evenly.  Place in preheated 375 degree oven(I use my toaster oven) and bake 10 to 20 minutes.  Remember smaller cubes less time, fatter cubes more time.  Also you can bake them to your degree of toastiness, I like mine a bit darker but if you like yours lighter then decrease the time and/or temperature.  Keep a close eye on them the first few times you bake them to see what is the best baking time for your taste.

Let them cool completely.  They should be crunchy all the way through with no softness.  I actually got these a bit too dark but they were good anyways.

Easy and delicious homemade croutons. So tasty and worth the small effort to make them up. They store in a sealed container for a week or so.

This was a small batch of croutons and you can adjust amounts according what you wish to bake.  I turn my bread that is starting to get older into croutons so the amounts change all the time.  I typically wing it so don’t be afraid to experiment yourself.

Easy and delicious homemade croutons. So tasty and worth the small effort to make them up. They store in a sealed container for a week or so.

 

Yield: 3 cups

Easy Delicious Crunchy Homemade Croutons

Easy and delicious homemade croutons. So tasty and worth the small effort to make them up. They store in a sealed container for a week or so.

Easy delicious croutons for salads, soups or even just a snack.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups Bread cubes (french or sour dough)
  • 1 clove garlic (1/2 teaspoon garlic granules)
  • Salt to taste
  • Dash of pepper (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • Fresh Herbs snipped Optional (I used Italian or Flat leafed Parsley)

Instructions

  1. On low heat saute your sliced garlic clove in the olive oil, you don't want it to turn dark brown, just a golden color. If you cook it on too high of a heat and get it too dark the garlic turns bitter. (if using granulated garlic skip this step)
  2. Strain out the garlic pieces so you are left with a garlic flavored oil.
  3. Melt your butter into the olive oil and drizzle both over your bread cubes.
  4. Toss cubes gently as you drizzle to distribute the liquid evenly over your cubes. They should not be drenched with oil/butter but only slightly moistened.
  5. Snip your fresh herbs (if using) using kitchen shears and a small bowl. This technique is so much easier for me than chopping them with a knife. The small bowl keeps them in a tight location so the tips of the shears snip them easily into small bits.
  6. Sprinkle on the salt, pepper, and herbs (if using granulated garlic this is when you would add it) Toss to coat the bread cubes well. The oil/butter mix moistening the bread should help the herbs and spices to stick to the cubes.
  7. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet evenly. Place in preheated 375 degree oven(I use my toaster oven) and bake 10 to 20 minutes. Remember smaller cubes less time, fatter cubes more time. Also you can bake them to your degree of toastiness, I like mine a bit darker but if you like yours lighter then decrease the time and/or temperature. Keep a close eye on them the first few times you bake them to see what is the best baking time for your taste.
  8. Let them cool completely. They should be crunchy all the way through with no softness.
  9. This was a small batch of croutons and you can adjust amounts according what you wish to bake. I turn my bread that is starting to get older into croutons so the amounts change all the time. I typically wing it so don't be afraid to experiment yourself.

Notes

Experiment with different flavors. Use different herbs, oils and additions like cheeses to switch it up.
Oven temps vary as do regional weather conditions that can effect cooking time so keep track of what works for you and adjust as necessary.


Enjoy creating these tasty treats for your summer salads.  They are delicious on soups too.

More You Will Enjoy

Nine Fabulous Salad Dressings
Aglio Olio with Chicken
Lime Basil Grilled Chicken

Easy and delicious homemade croutons. So tasty and worth the small effort to make them up. They store in a sealed container for a week or so.

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. These look so fresh and yummy. Another great use for fresh herbs in the summer. Of course, I don’t have a great bread guy like you but they do sell rustic bread at my supermarket. Just another reason to buy some. Thanks for the inspiration.

    1. Any denser bread works, even a good sour dough. Yes, it is a wonderful way to use the wonderfully fresh herbs from the garden. That reminds me I have some fresh cilantro seedlings to put out. It has been quite hot so a shady spot is best. 🙂

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