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Appetizers, Basics, Breads, Sides

Crunchy Homemade Croutons

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Make your own croutons at home with just 3 simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand! This is a fantastic way to use up stale bread you have laying around.

Stale bread is amazing. I bet you never heard that before. If you did, I’d love to know what the context was …

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    MY reason for loving hard, dry bread is all of the different ways to reuse it! One of my favorite things to do when I have a loaf of bread that’s just too stale to enjoy as is, is to turn it into croutons. Making stale bread into croutons helps extend its shelf life by about one week.

    While baking your croutons, I recommend keeping a close eye on them while they bake if this is your first go at it. Although this recipe calls for a 15 to 20 minute bake time, depending on the type of bread you’re using and its freshness, it may take a bit longer or a bit less time.


    I chose to use a loaf of homemade focaccia bread that I had. Since focaccia has a lot of olive oil in it, my bread started to brown quicker when compared to croutons made from something like regular French bread. My focaccia was also quite stale (2 days old) so it crisped up very quickly. It was ready around the 15 minute mark.


    Crunchy Homemade Croutons Recipe

    Make your own croutons at home with just 3 simple ingredients that you probably already have on hand! This is a fantastic way to use up stale bread you have laying around.
    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Bake Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 25 minutes
    Servings 3 cups

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups stale bread * see notes
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    Instructions

    Preheat your oven to 375°F.

    • Arrange your cubed bread on a large baking sheet. ** see notes
    • In a small bowl, whisk together your olive oil and salt to dissolve the salt. Pour the mixture evenly over your pieces of bread. Gently toss the bread to coat in the olive oil and salt. Spread your bread out into an even layer on your baking sheet.
    • Bake your pieces of bread in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Halfway through the baking time, carefully toss the croutons to make sure they brown evenly.
      The croutons are ready to take out of the oven when they turn a lightly golden color and crisp throughout. Cool completely and serve.

    Notes

    * What I’ve found to be the best type of bread for making croutons is any type of stale loaf or crusty bread. It’s important to make sure the bread isn’t too, too flat. It should be at least 1/2 an inch thick for best results. I used some homemade focaccia I had.
    I also recommend using bread that’s between 1 to 3 days old, but I’ve also made this with fresh bread and still loved the results. Bake time is just a bit longer.
    ** Make sure the baking sheet is large enough to arrange the bread in one even layer, with little (or preferable no) overlap. If the pieces of bread are on top of each other or too close together, air won’t be able to circulate around the pieces to crisp up the bread.
    Storage Instructions: Keep homemade croutons stored in an airtight container or plastic bag. Leave out at room temperature (as the fridge and freezer can cause the bread to soften). Homemade croutons keep for up to 1 week.

    Enjoy!



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