Homemade Croutons – buttery and crisp homemade croutons seasoned with just a handful of pantry staple ingredients. The perfect way to spruce up your salad or soup or even snack on by themselves. Chewy, crunchy, buttery and flavorful bites!
There have been a couple of things that I used to impulsively buy at the grocery store. Now, I fondly make most of them at home. Let’s be honest, even if you do love a few of the store-bought goodies, there’s nothing that quite compares to homemade – like these homemade croutons here.
They have the perfect crunch, chewiness and you can easily customize the taste to what suits your palate. If you do have stale bread at home, croutons are the best way to salvage them from getting moldy.
What Are Croutons?
Croutons are baked or fried cubed bread that is a popular accompaniment to soups, stews and salads – notably Caesar Salad. It’s derived from the French word croûton which itself came from the word croûte, meaning “crust”. Although you see it mostly in cube bite sizes, croutons can actually be of any size and shape. It is typically buttered and then baked to achieve that lovely golden crust.
There’s nothing much going on when it comes to making croutons. As a matter of fact, you may easily season them with what you have in your pantry. But here’s a good summary of what you need to make this exceptionally great and versatile topper.
Bread. For this recipe, I use one day-old loaf of French bread. Don’t worry if you don’t have one. The beauty of this recipe is that you can use nearly any type of bread you have. It can be a loaf, sliced bread, dry or stale bread or basically any leftover bread. Freshly baked bread may work OK for this, but I just don’t think it’s perfectly cut out for this in particular.
Olive Oil and Melted Butter. These two serve as the moistening agent and base for our croutons. Moreover, you may opt to choose either one of them, but it all depends on how you intend to use the croutons. If it’s with a salad, olive oil is the best, while for creamy soups, butter has the upper hand. I decided to use both since butter alone does make the croutons burn easily. And I just love love that buttery note in every bite.
Seasonings. Finely chopped garlic, salt, pepper and my homemade Italian seasoning – these are the only other ingredients that you need to have. Don’t have Italian seasoning? Use fresh herbs like thyme, dill or basil. For those who prefer the spiced ones, try adding a bit of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper into the melted butter mixture. Or simply go as simple as salt and pepper.
What Bread Should I Use to Make Croutons?
Croutons are an excellent way to make use of any leftover bread you have. You may use either white bread, whole wheat or any type of bread. For the crunchiest homemade crouton, please use day-old bread. Personally, I don’t use sliced bread as it gets too thin and it easily gets burned, but it would still work though. If you’re using sourdough, or any denser bread, add a few extra minutes while keeping a close watch at it.
How to Store Homemade Croutons?
If you’re lucky enough to keep any leftover croutons, simply store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5-7 days. And good news! You may freeze them, too. Just toss them directly in your favorite salads or soups; no need to defrost.
What Can Croutons Be Used For?
Aside from being the perfect accompaniment to Caesar’s Salad (which I’ll be sharing tomorrow😉), croutons are also a great add-on to the following below:
- Cream of Mushroom Soup
- French Onion Soup
- Shrimp Cobb Salad
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Broccoli Cheese Soup
- Lentil Soup
How To Make Croutons
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C), lightly grease a baking sheet with baking spray. Cut bread into ¼ inch cubes and place them in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, pour olive oil, melted butter, garlic, salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning. Pour mixture to bread chunks and toss till it is evenly distributed. Spread bread on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, and bake flipping occasionally until golden brown for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and serve.
Watch How To Make It
- 1 loaf of French bread (about 12 ounces) , cut into 1/4-inch cubes (10 cups)
- ¼ cup (62.5 g) olive
- 2 tablespoon s (28 g) unsalted butter , melted
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) finely chopped garlic
- ¾ teaspoon (3.75 g) kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon (1 g) black pepper
- 1 tablespoon (5.5 g) Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C), lightly grease a baking sheet with baking spray.
- Cut bread into ¼ inch cubes and place them in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, pour olive oil, melted butter, garlic, salt, black pepper and Italian seasoning. Pour mixture to bread chunks and toss till it is evenly distributed.
- Spread bread on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer, and bake flipping occasionally until golden brown for about 10-15 minutes. Remove and serve.
Tips & Notes:
- Allow to cool off before storing in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for about a week. This makes it maintains its crispy texture.
- In place of olive oil you can use melted butter.
- Crouton is best when using bread which is at least a day or two old.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.