How to Bake Croutons

 
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Baked Croutons

 

 

I always thought that making homemade croutons required the forethought to plan ahead and buy some bread a few days in advance, allowing it to air-dry and go stale. Turns out I was wrong.

 

I tend to work on impulse, so I usually don’t know on Monday that I will want to make croutons on Wednesday. I pretty much decide on Wednesday, ‘Today is a good day to make croutons!’

 

So, for those of us who don’t plan ahead, here are some foolproof directions for making homemade croutons using fresh bought-it-today bread. The method can also be used if you happen to have stale bread which you want to use up – you simply reduce the cooking time by half.

 

 

 

HOW TO BAKE CROUTONS

(makes 4 cups of croutons)

 

Ingredients:

Bread (stale or fresh), enough for 4 cups of bread-cubes

4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt

Fresh black pepper (to taste)

 

Optional additions:

– 1 tsp dried herbs (herbes de provence or oregano work particularly well)

– 3 fresh garlic cloves (peeled and minced) or 1 tsp garlic powder

– 3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese

– anything else that you can imagine

 

 

 

Directions:

 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F/175C and place a rack in the lower third of the oven. Use the regular conventional oven setting, not fan-assisted.
  2. Using either stale bread or fresh bread, cut the bread into 1-inch cubes until you have 4 cups of bread-cubes.
  3. In a mixing bowl, put 4 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and any additional ingredients (ie. dried herbs, garlic, parmesan, etc). Mix the ingredients well. Add the bread-cubes and toss until they are well-coated.
  4. Place the seasoned bread-cubes in a baking dish which is large enough for them to lie in a single layer.
  5. Place the baking dish in the lower third of the oven.
  6. Baking time for stale bread: If you are using stale bread, bake the bread-cubes for 5 minutes, toss them, and bake them for another 5 minutes until golden brown. The first time you make them, check them a few times during the baking process as oven temperatures can vary.
  7. Baking time for fresh bread-cubes: If you are using fresh bread, bake the bread-cubes for 10 minutes, toss them, and bake them for another 10 minutes until golden brown. The first time you make them, check them a few times during the baking process as oven temperatures can vary.
  8. Check that they are crunchy and then remove from the oven. If they are not yet crunchy, bake them for a few more minutes. They will firm up as they cool.
  9. Allow the croutons to cool out of the oven to room temperature.
  10. Store them in an air-tight container for upto 3 days at room temperature or upto 5 days in the refrigerator.

 

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