Lately I haven’t been doing a lot of “real” cooking. My migraines have been pretty unrelenting and food is something I don’t want to think about let alone cook. I’ve been eating packaged croutons for breakfast and lunch because they’re convenient. But poor Mr. Comfortable was running out of them for his salads. So I decided to make a big batch of homemade croutons to satisfy both of us.
While searching for something (other than croutons) to eat yesterday I noticed I had a baguette in the refrigerator. Originally I’d planned to make some kind of stuffed bread dinner with it. But when I saw it I had a better use. Homemade croutons are so easy and so tasty that I don’t know why I don’t make them all the time.
The packaged croutons have ingredients that I don’t want to feed Mr. C or myself. I’m not completely against preservatives. They allow us to eat a lot of foods that would be impossible to have without them. But when you can make something sans preservatives that taste better than the packaged variety it makes more sense. I am against feeding my family things that have a shelf life longer than ours!
My homemade croutons use just 7 ingredients I’ll bet you have in your pantry!
Using my kitchen mallet I smashed 3 cloves of garlic. I don’t have a garlic press but if you do, use that!
In a medium saucepan I put 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 3 tablespoons olive oil (I always use extra virgin), the smashed garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and about 6 grinds of pepper (1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon depending on your taste). Sometimes I also use a little dried oregano. Use whatever herbs your family likes to make these homemade croutons.
I heated this mixture until the butter melted then removed it from the heat and gave it a good stir. While I cut the bread I let flavors of the oil mixture combine.
While the flavors of the oil were blending I cut the baguette into large chunks. We usually purchase the Texas Toast style croutons so big pieces of bread were essential for our croutons. The baguette yielded about 6 cups of nice, big squares of bread.
I preheated the oven to 375 degrees and got a baking sheet ready for the croutons. Next I put the bread cubes in a large container so I’d have room to toss them in the oil without tossing them all over the kitchen. Then I poured the flavored oil over them. I stirred and tossed the bread cubes to coat them all in that fragrant oil.
Once the bread cubes were nicely coated I spread them on the baking sheet and popped them in the oven. After six minutes I stirred and tried to flip as many of the croutons as I could so they’d brown on both sides. Then I returned the croutons to the oven for another 10 minutes. It may take as long as 20 minutes to make them as crunchy as you want, depending on your oven.
I let the croutons cool and we topped our salads with the fresh, delicious homemade croutons. We also use drop them in soups and eat them as snacks!
Buttery and aromatic with herbs homemade croutons are going to be a family favorite!
Homemade croutons are so delicious and easy to make you'll stop buying packaged croutons! Use them to top salads, soups, or eat as a snack!
- 6 cups bread cut into large cubes.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 medium garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley (use a tablespoon if using fresh parsley)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano (use a tablespoon if using fresh)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small sauce pan, combine butter, extra virgin olive oil, 3 smashed/pressed garlic cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley (1 tablespoon if using fresh), 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Heat over medium heat until butter is melted.
- Remove from heat and stir to combine. Set aside to allow flavors to blend.
- Cut your bread into large (approximately 1 inch) cubes
- Transfer to large mixing bowl.
- Slowly pour the flavored olive oil over the bread cubes, stirring and tossing until bread cubes have an even coating of oil.
- Spread the bread in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 375˚F for 15 – 20 minutes (until the croutons are crunchy enough for your taste).
- Cool croutons and serve on salads, in soups, or eat as a snack!
Store leftover croutons in an airtight container.