Don’t shy away from Making Homemade Croutons. All it takes is your favorite bread, a little fat, and a lot of heat! Add some special flavors, and you have a unique tasty crunch to accent any soup, salad, or casserole. You can’t buy that in any store.
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There are several ways to Making Homemade Croutons, here are the basics:
Whatever bread you like is the bread you can use. Even cornbread like this Iron Skillet Cornbread. Remember, day-old and stale works best!
The key is getting the bread cubed or torn into uniform pieces for even browning. Using an electric knife is your best bet. I was so surprised to hear recently that my daughter does not own an electric knife. My own daughter! Where have I been? How has she survived through Thanksgiving without one?
If you don’t have one of these electrified kitchen saws, get one. They are inexpensive and come in handy every time you need to slice meat and cut bread. And it’s the best way to quickly get evenly cubed croutons.
Any fat such as oil, butter, and even bacon grease can be used. With white bread, I like using olive oil and melted butter. The two make a delicious couple tossed together to flavor the bread.
Now, bacon fat adds a whole lot of flavor on its own to any kind of bread. May I suggest drizzling some over cubes of cornbread with a little salt and black pepper. You can turn these into a snack as well as a tasty crouton.
Yes, simply tossing oil with pieces of bread and a sprinkle of salt for your croutons still makes a flavorful crunch on a dish. But this can be where more is more.
I have found a winning combination of ingredients using French bread that far surpasses the taste of any store-bought crouton. I first melt some butter with pressed fresh garlic in the microwave. The heat helps the garlic release its flavor. Then I mix in some olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper. Or, red pepper flakes for a greater punch of spice.
You can brown the croutons in a saucepan on the stove, but baking them in the oven on a sheet pan is easy with good results. My oven bakes these best at 400 degrees for 15 minutes while turning them over in the middle of baking. They become a beautiful light golden color with a crispy crunch, perfect for snacking, too.
Well, if you’re going to snack on them, this recipe doubles easily!