How to Make Homemade Croutons
For me it’s the little things that stand out and make a recipe pop, like these homemade croutons. Every time I toss these bad boys into a salad or soup, I always get compliments on how amazing the croutons are. Yes, something so simple as homemade croutons can make a recipe go from great to outstanding! They truly beat out any store-bought variety, and are a great way to use up any leftover bread you have lying around.
Homemade croutons take roughly 15 minutes to make from start to finish, and require 4 simple pantry ingredients that I know you all have in your house; bread, salt, pepper and olive oil, so there are no excuses for not making a batch up.
My kids get super excited when I make these up. Seriously, I find my kids sneaking into the kitchen and stealing hot croutons off the baking sheet and devouring them. They love them so much that sometimes I make up a batch for them to snack on. I know, you’re scratching your head and thinking to yourselves, “croutons as a snack?” Well, I say, yes, why not?
how to make homemade croutons:
makes roughly 25-30 croutons
- 2 slices country-style bread, cut into 1/2 inch cubes – you can really use any sort of bread for the croutons, and even a sliced bread like Dave’s killer bread
- 5-6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil – the amount of olive oil you use depends on the size and thickness of your bread cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch of freshly ground pepper – I don’t measure out my pepper, I just twist the pepper grinder a few times and call it a day!
- If making the croutons for a salad then be sure to add in 2 cloves of minced garlic
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
I love this below bread from Della Fattoria. If you live in Marin, you can find this bread at Whole Foods or you can even visit their cafe in Petaluma! I haven’t done that yet, but it’s on my to-do list!
Slice your bread into 2 thick slices. It’s really up to you on how thick you want the slices of bread! We like our croutons big, so we slice them pretty thick. Make sure to keep the crust on, as it adds so much flavor and texture to the croutons.
Cut the slices into 1/2-inch cubes. This is really personal preference, you can cut the cubes as big or small as you want, just make sure they are roughly even-sized.
In a medium bowl, add the 5-6 teaspoons olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir to combine. Note: If you’re making the croutons for a salad, then be sure to add the 2 cloves of minced garlic to the olive oil mixture.
If you’re using thicker sliced bread like I used, then 6 teaspoons of olive oil is perfect. You want to make sure that the bread cubes are all evenly covered with the olive oil mixture.
Toss in the bread cubes and mix with your hands to combine. Make sure to get all of the bread cubes evenly coated with the olive oil mixture.
Spread the bread cubes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet.
Set your timer and bake the croutons for 6-7 minutes (I would check them at 6 minutes the first time to see how quickly they bake up in your oven) and then check the croutons, if the bottoms are browned, then flip over the croutons and bake for another 6-7 minutes, or until the croutons are browned and crisp to your liking.
NOTE: If you’re using a thinner bread, like a sliced sandwich bread, then check your croutons at the 5-minute mark, as sliced sandwich bread cooks much quicker than a loaf bread.
Total baking time for me is usually 14 minutes.
Below are some baked croutons using Dave’s Killer Bread!
Let the croutons cool on the baking sheet for a bit. Watch out for sneaky kids, as my kids always sneak into the kitchen and steal a crouton or two as they’re cooling off.
Storing the croutons: The croutons will stay fresh in a sealed container for about 2-3 days.
Top them on your favorite soup, or toss them into any salad.
These croutons make my kid friendly caesar salad the bomb, especially when I’ve used minced garlic in the olive oil mixture.
I love them topped on my heirloom tomato gazpacho as well as my…