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How to Make Croutons. Transform Stale Bread into the Star of the Salad!

Updated on September 11, 2009

Why buy tasteless supermarket croutons when you can make your own so easily and when they taste so so good?

I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating – it’s the little things that transform the good cooks to the great ones and fine meals to memorable ones. Adding crunchy homemade croutons to a garden salad transforms what can be a dinner afterthought to a dinner showpiece and in doing so, you’re almost always using up stale bread that might otherwise wind up in the trash. A win win win!

This is just one of many ways to make up a batch of croutons, but it is an easy way that requires very little effort or forethought and one that produces some darn tasty croutons.

Homemade Crouton Method

  • Bread, cut into slices
  • Olive oil, melted butter, bacon fat or other oil/fat of your liking
  • Salt
  • Herbs (optional)
  1. Preheat your oven to medium (about 375 f) or so – although most any temperature will work, so if you’ve got something in the oven already, you can just add these croutons in at the already-baking temperature.
  2. Cut your sliced bread slices into cubes. I like my croutons a little bit smaller than half an inch in diameter, but to each his/her own…
  3. Place the bread cubes on a baking sheet and drizzle on the oil of your choice. The more oil you use the more decadent the result – but for an everyday salad, I use about 2 tsps of fat/oil per slice of bread. (Mt 2 favorite fats here would be bacon fat or olive oil) if using butter or bacon fat, or anything solid at room temperature, heat it a little to liquefy.
  4. Smoosh and stir the bread cubes together to distribute the oil and then sprinkle on a little salt to taste. Spread the croutons out on your baking sheet, to ensure even browning
  5. Bake for 10 to 20 minutes or so, or until the croutons are golden browned to your liking and have a satisfying crunch
  6. If desired, you can at this point toss in some finely minced fresh herbs
  7. Let cool and serve then transform an everyday salad to a special occasion side dish with a little crunchy goodness.

You can use any kind of bread here, although very denser breads, like bagels, will make a very crunchy crouton! Stale bread works exceptionally well here, and so there is no reason to use up fresh bread for this recipe. Keep in mind though, that the staler the bread, the faster it bakes in the oven.

A Video Crouton Making Demo


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    • SimeyC profile image

      Simon Cook 8 years ago from NJ, USA

      Sounds really good - I agree shop bought croutons are really horrible!!!