Homemade croutons are super easy! Not too long ago we posted our recipe for Caesar dressing and someone asked how we make homemade croutons. Of course, it’s easy to buy store bought croutons and tear open a bag, but it’s not hard to whip them up at home either.
I have never actually followed a crouton recipe, I just needed some, didn’t have any, and gave it a shot. Most recipes out there call for stale bread. I don’t know about you, but I rarely have stale bread on hand. If I did, I’d definitely use it for croutons.
So what do you do if you don’t have stale bread?
You can use any bread you have on hand. Leftover French bread or artisan bread is good. But, I’ve even used sliced sourdough or leftover deli rolls. I don’t know any breads for certain that won’t work, you might want to experiment a bit. I suspect that a more moist bread would just take longer in the oven.
FYI! My method is not exact so I won’t be posting a real printable recipe.
I start with olive oil or melted butter, sometimes I even mix the two together. You don’t need a lot. Just lightly brush both sides of your bread slices, or the outside of your roll. I prefer this method instead of trying to coat the bread after it has been cubed, but if you like that better – go for it. You don’t want them wet, just oiled up enough so that the seasoning will stick to it.
Once the bread is lightly coated slice it into cubes, or even hand tear it into chunks, your choice. I prefer to slice them into bite size cubes.
Here’s the fun part, seasoning! This can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like. You can use dry Italian seasoning and salt, Pappy’s Garlic and Herb seasoning, garlic salt, seasoning salt, or just garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss in a pinch of cayenne if you’d like. It’s really up to your imagination how you want to season your croutons.
Most of the time, I season mine with granulated garlic, sea salt, and fresh cracked black pepper. You can season them before you slice them up or you can put them on a baking/cookie sheet and season them and toss them around, just make sure they are well seasoned.
Put them on a baking sheet and pop them into a 325 degree oven. You want to just let them dry out and crisp up in the oven until they are crunchy and golden brown. I honestly don’t have a solid time because I turn on my oven, prep my croutons, toss them into the oven, then make my Caesar dressing, and start prepping dinner. You’ll smell them and that will remind you to check on them. If you aren’t sure if they are done pull one out and sample it. You really want them to be dry, browned, and crunchy.
I’ve found that 4 slices of sourdough bread or two deli rolls will make almost more than enough croutons for a salad for 4 people. If you have more leftover just put them in a baggy or air tight container. I have no idea how long they’ll keep because we usually use them up in a couple of days if I make too much. 😉