When you bake regularly, there are times when a portion of a loaf ends up uneaten. When this happens in our home, we make croutons! They keep well in an air-tight container for several weeks and are so yummy on salads or in soup. We also use them to make bread crumbs–simply by pounding them around in our mortar and pestle, which is such fun, terribly messy-in-the-right-kind-of-easy-clean-up-way, and a good activity for energetic little people. (Or you could use a food processor…)
In this recipe I show how you can add olive oil and salt for extra flavor, but the croutons are just as functional and delicious when left alone. I’ve made croutons from many types of breads, but my favorites are the rosemary French bread that I make, and sourdough. Oh, a French loaf with parmesan in it would be delicious, too!
Time Commitment: A few minutes to cube the bread, a long wait, then a few more minutes to bake the croutons…
- Tools you need:
- Bread knife and cutting board
- Mixing bowl
- an oven
- Cookie sheet
- old bread
- olive oil
- What to do:
Step One: Cut the old bread into crouton-sized cubes.
Step Two: Put the cubed bread into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, toss the cut bread, then drizzle some more. I don’t saturate mine, just put on enough to coat and get flavor… Toss in a few pinches of salt as you go.
Step Three: Leave the cubed bread out overnight on a cookie sheet, or at least for a few hours in the open air.
Step Four: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toast the bread cubes in the oven for 8-12 minutes, depending on size.
Step Five: After they cool, store the croutons in an airtight container. Ask some friends over for dinner, make a lovely Caesar chicken salad –with croutons–for dinner, and enjoy!