Welcome to a new addition of Stuff I’ve Googled: Where the questions are made up and the answers don’t matter.
Wait, no. Scratch that. These are real questions. And the answers are designed to actually help you in the kitchen. Sound good?
Today, we’re covering homemade croutons! That’s right, folks. Crunchy, seasoned, ready to eat croutons can be made in your kitchen in under 20 minutes.
Before we start, let me get one thing out of the way. At this point, you might be wondering why you should bother making homemade croutons when you can easily buy a bag of them at the store. Here are 4 reasons you should make croutons at home:
1. Wasting food sucks. And when bread gets a little dry and stale, it can be tempting to throw it away. But that old, dry bread is actually IDEAL for homemade croutons.
2. They’re better than store bought. It’s just a fact.
3. C-U-S-T-O-M-I-Z-A-T-I-O-N. You get to make your croutons exactly how you want them. Like them super salty? Go for it. Love cheese? You can literally SMOTHER your homemade croutons in cheese. Want giant croutons? You can do that too!
4. It’s easy. Seriously. It takes about 20 minutes and you really only need two ingredients: bread and butter.
Alright, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get down to business. The basic formula for homemade croutons is old bread + olive oil or butter + seasonings. The next time you have day-old bread around, simply tear or chop it into the size cube you want, toss with melted butter or olive oil (I like half and half), then add the seasonings of your choice. Place the croutons on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. That’s it. You’ll be left with super crunchy, super flavorful, salad ready croutons.
You’ll need about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil or butter and 1/4 teaspoon of seasoning for each cup of bread. My go-to combo is a mixture of garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Other possibilities?
- Grated Parmesan cheese- perfect for anything but especially on top of soups
- Greek seasoning- great for Greek salads (obvs)
- Chili powder- use it to top bowls of chili
- Herbs de Provence– I consider this Italian seasoning’s classier cousin. Crumble these croutons over a baked mac and cheese. SO GOOD.
Now, wait…I know what you’re thinking. What if I don’t feel like making croutons the moment I have old bread?
No problem. I rarely make croutons right away. I usually chop the bread up into cubes, place it in a freezer zip lock bag, then freeze it until ready to use. You can defrost it on the counter top in a few hours. The other bonus of this method? The bag can totally be your mixing bowl. Just dump the butter and seasonings in, shake it around, and spread out on the baking sheet. Done and done.
Guys, I seriously wish you could hear the sound these make as you bite into them. There is absolutely nothing like the satisfying crunch of a homemade crouton. Mine are usually lucky if they make it onto the salad and not just straight into my mouth. I hope you give these a try, and if you discover a favorite seasoning combo, come back and share it!
Recipe by Neighborfood