Homemade croutons are super easy to make. Save all the bread ends you don't finish from a loaf of bread, that extra slice of French bread after making French toast, artisan bread that has gone stale, and even a dried-out King’s Hawaiian roll. I like croutons made from stale Nature's Own honeywheat bread because there is a hint of sweetness and they come out on the softer side of crunchy -- as opposed to almost rock hard. Croutons made from crusty breads, like ciabatta or French baguettes, end up being very hard croutons. For the batch of croutons in the picture, I had run out of leftover bread so I picked up a day-old loaf of sliced Italian bread. Once baked and dried, if you will not eat the croutons within a month’s time, keep the croutons in a double layer of Ziploc freezer-gallon bags and store in the freezer. The croutons can be eaten directly out of the freezer as they don’t get any harder when they are frozen.
Leftover bread, cubed
Herb-infused olive oil
Grated Parmesan cheese
Tools: large sheet pan, about 12 in. x. 18 in., rubber spatula
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
1. Pour enough olive oil into the large sheet pan. Use the rubber spatula to smear the oil to cover the entire bottom of the pan. There should be a thin layer of oil.
2. Place a single layer of cubed bread into the pan, squeezing them together.
3. Gently press the cubes into the oil so each piece of bread has oil on one side.
4. Stir the cubes around with the rubber spatula.
5. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese over the bread. Add a couple of pinches of salt. Stir everything together to combine very well.
6. Taste a cube of bread. Add more Parmesan cheese, salt, and oil if you want more flavor.
7. Bake the cubes in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the tray and stir.
8. Bake for two more intervals of 15 minutes, stirring after each interval.
9. Taste a cube. It should be dry and crunchy. If it seems soft, bake again until the cubes are completely dried and hard.
10. Once done, set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely. Store the croutons in an air-tight container.
Return to More Recipes Next Recipe