Ever baked fresh bread, then realized the next morning, or a couple days later, that you left it on the counter to go stale? Maybe that’s just me, but even so, baking homemade croutons is such a fantastic way to reduce bread waste in your kitchen. They’re also way tastier than the bagged ones from the store, so much so that I often eat them plain as a snack, especially if the original loaf of bread was particularly flavorful!
For the homemade croutons featured in this post, I used a leftover loaf of this bread. I highly, highly recommend Maurizio’s recipes, and this one in particular. It is extremely flavorful and delicious when fresh, and it makes absolutely excellent croutons as the sunflower seeds included in it roast.
What equipment do I need to make homemade croutons?
- Cutting board
- Knife: I won’t claim to be an expert on knives, but I cannot recommend Cutco highly enough.
- Baking sheet
What are the ingredients for homemade croutons?
- Bread: I typically use sourdough, and it produces both an excellent flavor and texture. If you don’t have sourdough on hand though, please don’t let that stop you.
- Oil: Olive or avocado are my oils of choice.
- Seriously, that’s it: though if you’re using a bland loaf of bread for this, you could certainly add some seasonings, like salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, Herbs de Provence, rosemary… anything you like.
These are so simple, it feels funny writing up an entire formal post on them. Here goes:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
Cut up your bread into cubes or rectangles in the size of your choosing. I find that 1/2 inch to an inch works very well.
Place your bread pieces on a baking sheet and lightly toss with a drizzle of oil. If you want seasonings, add these now.
If you’re (optionally) choosing to add salt, I want to caution you against overdoing it. The first time I made these, I used rye sourdough, salted it quite generously, and lived to regret it. Most breads already contain enough salt to make adding much more unwise.
Bake for about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through, until deep brown and crispy.
Let cool completely before transferring to an airtight container or bag to store.
Sprinkle on a salad or soup, or eat plain! Enjoy!