Making Homemade Croutons

Making Homemade Croutons
A sheet pan of baked croutons.

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:

The Bread

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.

A loaf of bread sliced into cubes.

The Fat

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.

A bowl of cornbread croutons next to a salad.
These cornbread croutons made with bacon drippings are very flavorful. You can’t eat just one! They are a great snack, too. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Think about how these cornbread croutons could look and taste on this Easy Appetizer Charcuterie Board. It would be a surprising treat for your guests.

The Flavor

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.

The Heat

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!

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Making Homemade Croutons

A sheet pan of baked croutons.

Bread, oil, and heat is all it takes to make croutons. Flavoring them up makes it well worth the effort.

  • Author: Louisiana Woman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 7 ounces 1x
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

Basic Croutons

5 heaping cups or 7 ounces bread, cubed or torn evenly

2 tablespoons oil

sprinkle of salt

Seasoned Croutons

5 heaping cups or 7 ounces of French bread, cubed or torn evenly

1 tablespoon salted butter

2 cloves garlic, pressed

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt

fresh cracked black pepper or red pepper flakes to taste

Cornbread Croutons

5 heaping cupsĀ cornbread, cubed evenly

2 tablespoons melted bacon drippings

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Basic Croutons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place pieces of bread into a large bowl.

Drizzle oil onto the bread and toss to coat.

Spread bread evenly on a sheet pan in a single layer and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, turning them over in the middle of cooking.

Seasoned Croutons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place bread cubes into a large bowl.

Microwave garlic and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl for about 20 seconds.

Remove butter from microwave and add oil and seasonings, mixing all together.

Drizzle the butter and oil mixture over the bread evenly and toss to coat.

Spread bread evenly on a sheet pan in a single layer.

Bake for 15 minutes, tossing to turn the cubes over in the middle of the baking time.

Remove from oven and let cool before using or storing them in an airtight container.

Cornbread Croutons

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place pieces of cornbread into a large bowl.

Drizzle bacon drippings onto the bread and toss to coat.

Spread bread evenly on a sheet pan in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown, turning them over in the middle of cooking.

 

 

Notes

Most types of bread can be used in making croutons, including biscuits.

Stale bread works best.

Make sure bread is cut up into uniform pieces for even browning.

Store in the refrigerator or freezer for longer shelf life in an airtight container.

For cornbread croutons, reheat to crisp them up after storing.

It is difficult to tear cornbread into even pieces, using a knife makes fewer crumbs.

Keywords: making homemade croutons

You can buy ready-make croutons, but they won’t be as fresh and tasty as making your own. And what if you run out or forget to pick some up from the store?

Well, here you go! Help yourself to homemade croutons and let me know what you’ve created in your kitchen. I love hearing from you!

Don’t forget to pin these photos to Pinterest and share to your hearts content my recipes on all of the social media. Thanks!

A sheet pan of baked croutons.

“We need never shout across the spaces to an absent God. He is nearer than our own soul, closer than our most secret thoughts.”

A.W. Tozer



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