Got some stale bread lying around from your new bread baking hobby? Give it new life by turning it into homemade croutons. Croutons are simply toasted bread pieces used to add texture and flavour to salads (but you can also use them to make stuffing or sprinkle on soups).
Only two ingredients are needed to make croutons:
- Bread (you can use basically any kind–sandwich bread, cornbread, raisin bread, challah, dinner rolls, no-knead bread, sourdough–even grilled cheese sandwiches!)
- Oil or fat, such as olive or canola oil, butter, or my favourite–bacon fat.
- (Optional) seasonings if you want to add some extra flavour, such as finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or chopped fresh herbs.
There are two easy ways to make your own croutons:
Oven method: Tear, or cut, bread into 2 cups bite-sized pieces. Toss with 1 tbsp oil and seasoning to taste (if desired) on a baking sheet. Spread into one layer. Bake at 400F until toasted and golden-brown, 5 to 6 min.
Stovetop method: Tear, or cut, bread into 2 cups bite-sized pieces. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Add 1 tbsp oil, then bread and seasoning to taste (if desired). Cook, stirring occasionally, until toasted and golden-brown, 3 to 4 min.
If you prefer your croutons a bit crispier, cook them for a few minutes longer. Use right away, or let the croutons cool completely before storing them in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week.