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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Making the Basics: Croutons Cooking View

Do you make your own croutons?  If you don’t, you should try it.  In the past, I figured it wasn’t worth the effort since the store-bought kind taste pretty good.  Over time, I’ve slowly transitioned to DIY-ing anything and everything that I can.  It tastes better, I know exactly what we’re eating, and it’s much more eco-friendly.  Croutons are just another of the many items I used to buy regularly and now only make from scratch.  Despite my initial misgivings, croutons take about 10 minutes of actual work.  I confess that I never really use a recipe or measure anything because I make them so often, it’s just something I do by feel.

The basic idea is to mix cubes of bread with a bit of fat, seasonings, and then dry them out in the oven until crisp.  There are tons of variations you could make to suit your tastes – use different types of breads, use more olive oil than butter, play around with the seasonings.  As long as the bread has been fully dried out and there is no chewiness to the croutons, they will keep in an airtight container for a pretty long time – at least a couple of weeks.  Simple accoutrements such as these can make even the most boring salad a bit more appealing.  In fact, Andrew loves these croutons so much that he requests salad almost every night with dinner, and has been known to run laps around the house shouting, “I love croutons!”  True story.

Homemade Croutons
Yield: about 3-4 cups

Ingredients

1 medium baguette or about 4 cups ½-inch bread cubes*
1½ tbsp. olive oil
1½ tbsp. melted butter
Garlic powder
Dried parsley
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cooking View

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 300˚ F.  Remove the crust from the baguette and cube the bread to the desired size.

  • Place the bread cubes in a medium mixing bowl.  Stir in the melted butter and olive oil and toss to coat.  Season to taste with garlic powder, dried parsley, salt and pepper (¼ teaspoon of each seasoning is a good starting point.)  Toss once more until everything is evenly combined.
  • Spread the croutons in a single layer on a baking sheet (preferably a rimmed baking sheet unless you’re a daredevil like me).  Bake, stirring once every 10 minutes, until the croutons are light golden and crisp and no chewiness remains (be sure to let a crouton cool for a minute or two before testing!)  They will bake about 40-50 minutes total but the time may vary depending on the size of cubes and type of bread.  Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

  • You can use whatever type of bread you like to make these.  Though many people use regular sliced bread, I find the texture lacking.  I typically use this baguette or this sourdough, both because they have the texture I prefer and because I keep them in the freezer at all times.

Source

  • Amy

    Annnie these look delicious! I was wondering how to find out if I won any giveways…will you send it to me via email or will it be on one of your posts? Thanks so much!

  • annieseats

    Those people will be contacted via email, hopefully today or tomorrow but I just have to find time to do it. I also usually mention on Facebook that the winners have been contacted.

  • Brenna J

    I am so excited to try this! I absolutely LOVE your DIY posts!!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    I love these “how to” posts you do! They always remind me to go back to the basics!

  • Kay @ thechurchcook

    So great you are sharing this Annie! Homemade croutons can’t be beat. :)

  • http://thesaltykitchen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ The Salty Kitchen

    I love the ‘Basics’ posts you are doing. They really are helpful!

  • 3smittygirl3

    Homemade croutons ARE the best… I usually take an “everything bagel” approach when I make them, and add all kinds of herbs and spices (i.e. garlic, Italian seasoning, caraway seeds, poppy seeds, paprika, minced onion, etc.) Most of the time, mine don’t even make it on top of a salad… They usually just get eaten as a snack cause the whole family loves them so much:)

  • Noelle Graham

    I love that this recipe requires much less butter/oils than the recipe I have now! I admit though, I’m a user of sliced bread, only because we rarely go through an entire loaf of bread before it expires. When it’s close to expiration, I just toss the leftover slices into the freezer and pull them out and defrost when I’m ready to make croutons! We’re on a tighter budget right now, and it saves us money to 1) not toss left over bread into the trash, and 2) not go out to buy croutons or bread just for croutons. Just my take on it, and maybe it gives someone else some ideas if they’re on a really tight grocery budget at the moment as well! :)

  • http://its-just-a-little-blog.blogspot.com/ little bit

    I love to do these with Tuscan sourdough bread… mmmm!! my husband and I love them, and it’s hard to keep from munching on them plain!

  • Mia Smith

    Sounds delicious, and i have some bread in the freezer that I really don’t like to eat, but it’s perfect for croutons.
    I don’t have any garlic powder but in my family we all looooove garlic. Do you think it’s possible to put some fresh garlic in the oil/butter mixture?

  • annieseats

    You can, but it’s more likely to burn during cooking. You could buy garlic powder – it’s a nice thing to have on hand.

  • annieseats

    True, though I think homemade bread is probably even cheaper than store bought and I only use homemade for croutons. I keep it in the freezer at all times so we don’t have to worry about it going bad.

  • annieseats

    Ooh, I love that idea! I have some leftover everything mix from last time I made bagels. I’ll have to try that, thanks!

  • annieseats

    So glad you like them!

  • http://tideandthyme.com/ Laura

    lol, my Andrew loves croutons too. What’s up with that? The things that make these kids tick. That bread is gorgeous, btw! I really need to treat myself to a baguette pan.

  • Lynna Huynh

    what a great thing to learn! thanks for sharing :)

  • Soccergal2018

    Thanks so much Annie!

  • Gail

    True story: my husband and I were out to dinner and I ordered a dinner salad. The salad was ok, not great. The waitress asked how my salad was and I said, “It would have been greatly improved if the chef would have made the croutons from scratch instead of dumping them from a box.” My husband wanted to craw under the table and die- but it was true. Croutons from scratch make even the simplest of salads special!

  • Gena

    I love to make my own croutons! You bake yours much lower and slower than I have been. I’m excited to try that. Do you have a recommendation for storing the leftovers so that they stay crispy rather than getting chewy?

  • annieseats

    If they were adequately dried initially, they will not get chewy. I store them in an airtight container.

  • Linda

    I like the baking pan in the picture. Where did you get it?

  • annieseats

    Williams Sonoma. Their Gold Touch line is amazing.

  • Gina Iampolsky

    These look really good, thanks for sharing

  • http://atthepatisserie.wordpress.com/ Ann P.

    Awesome tutorial, Annie! Sounds so much cheaper and healthier than store-bought croutons. And they definitely elevate a salad exponentially!
    Also, I love the little stories of Andrew that you include in your posts. I feel like I’ve kind of been watching him grow up through your blog! He and Caroline are so precious.

  • http://www.spoon-stories.com/ Lilia

    thanks for sharing!!

  • Mia Smith

    That’s true. Thanks for the advice!

  • pat1645

    I think it is hilarious when people act so surprised that I make my own croutons. It is so easy, and so versatile. I rarely have leftovers, people tend to snack on them, but it is good to know that they will last a while in a sealed container.

  • Linda

    I actually started looking for it right after I asked the question- I see lots of Williams Sonoma products on your site, so I figured that was a good place to start. :) Thanks for the info! I think this mommy is going to by herself a present!

  • Haleymt96

    I made these today and they turned out wonderful! Thanks!

  • Haley

    I just took these out of the oven and will have a hard time saving them for salads- very delicious! I used store bought french bread but will have to try your homemade bread next time. Thank you for these basic recipes!

  • kate

    Just made them and they are so yummy!!! Thanks Annie. I love your site. It’s a regular “go-to” for me!

  • http://www.portuguesegirlcooks.com/ Jessica |Portuguese Girl Cooks

    Hi Annie, just made these, and they are awesome! Hoping to make some for Christmas, and I’m wondering how long they last once made? Thanks!

  • annieseats

    As long as the bread has been fully dried out and there is no chewiness to the croutons, they will keep in an airtight container for a pretty long time – at least a couple of weeks.