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February 24, 2021

Homemade Croutons

Taste the Difference

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Homemade Croutons 8
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Homemade Croutons

homemade croutons on a baking sheet with a can of French Olive Oil and garlic cloves

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Make your own croutons instead of buying them from the store. They are simple to make and well worth the effort. Store-bought croutons often contain additives, preservatives, and low-quality ingredients like ascorbic acid, citric acid, dehydrated herbs, enzymes, and low-quality oil. Next time you are in the store, read the label, you’ll be surprised.

Bread, olive oil, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper are all you need to make delicious croutons. Take a minute to add fresh garlic and herbs to your croutons and they will be the finest you’ve ever tasted.

Toasting croutons can be a fun family activity. While you prepare the other ingredients, ask a partner or child to cut the bread into cubes. It can bring you together to talk and connect while being productive and stocking your kitchen with a treat the whole family will enjoy.

Watch the recipe video here

  • Author: Caterina De Falco
  • Prep Time: 10-15 depending on amount of bread to chop
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours

Ingredients

Bread - stale bread, country bread, or baguettes. Any bread you like will do.

Olive oil

Sea salt or Celtic salt

Fresh ground pepper

Fresh thyme or sage

Fresh garlic

Instructions

1. Cut the bread into small cubes, about one inch, and place them on a cookie sheet.

2. Drizzle the bread cubes with olive oil until they are well coated.

3. Add fresh garlic, either pressed or finely minced.

4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Use a spatula or your hands to toss everything together to coat the bread. If you use your hands, there is one less utensil to clean up and olive oil is moisturizing for skin, so rub the extra on your hands.

6. Bake at 250 or 300 degrees F for 20 - 25 minutes, just until they are golden brown. Stir them around once or twice while baking.

 

You will notice that I didn't give you exact quantities for the ingredients, because I always make them by feel. I included a video to give you an idea of the quantities. Olive oil, salt, and pepper are the ingredients that are essential. The rest is optional so if all you have is bread, olive oil, salt, and pepper, you can still make mouthwatering croutons. 

Notes

The garlic and herbs often do not stick to the croutons, and you will have crunchy and savory garlic crumbs on your cookie sheet. Save them and store them with the croutons. These little bits of toasted garlic and herbs can go right on a soup or salad and, in my opinion, are the best part. Be prepared for everyone to fight over them.

Make a batch of croutons and freeze them so that they are always on hand. They are a perfect addition to a Caesar salad or soup. Five or 6 croutons sprinkled on top of a bowl of vegetable bisque soup can get children more interested eating the soup. Families report this works like magic. 

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I often cook "au pif," as we say in France, which means cooking without an exact recipe and by "feel" using your intuition.  You’ll often find guidelines in many recipes versus exact quantities.  Write to me here if you have any questions about the recipes.

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