Did you know that you can easily make your own Restaurant-Style Homemade Croutons from scratch with just a few basic ingredients?
It’s my personal opinion, but I feel that homemade croutons taste so much better than the processed croutons you can buy in a store. As a matter of fact, these croutons are a mouthwatering snack all on their own (no salad needed)! Seriously, I can eat these by the handfuls! Oops, did I say that out loud?
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Here’s how to make: Regular, Pumpernickel, and Gluten-Free Croutons.
Homemade croutons are a great way to use leftover bread. Bread that is actually on the dryer side is perfect for croutons, therefore it’s a great way to use bread that is on the edge of becoming stale. Consequently, you can buy bread on sale, freeze it and make croutons whenever you need them.
If you prefer the crust can be left on the bread. However, if you do cut off the crust, place them into a bowl and set the bowl aside. While you won’t need these to make croutons, don’t throw them away because you can use them in other ways. You have probably guessed by now that every scrap of bread can serve a purpose.
Next, cut the bread into bite-size chunks and place them into a large mixing bowl. (A whole loaf of generic white bread was used in this particular recipe.)
Place bread cubes evenly onto a greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 45 minutes; or until croutons are golden brown. Gently stir croutons every 10 minutes making sure you bring the croutons from the corners of the baking pan to the center. For even browning of all the croutons, try to rotate them around the pan each time you stir them.
The longer you bake the croutons, the dryer and crunchier they will be. Also, the type of bread you use, the size of cubes, and how crunchy you want your croutons to be will determine how long you bake them. Finally, be sure to keep a close eye on them when they are almost finished baking because they brown quicker when almost finished. I baked mine for 30 minutes.
When croutons are golden brown remove them from the oven and cool completely. Store in an airtight container and use within 1 – 2 weeks. As much as I enjoy eating them like popcorn, they are perfect in salads, soup, or as a casserole topping.
Repeat the same process above by taking the crust off the slices of bread and cutting them into cubes and place in a bowl.
Drizzle olive oil over the bread cubes and sprinkle with garlic and sea salt.
Gently mix all together and place in a greased baking pan with 1-inch sides. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 – 45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool completely and store in an air-tight container for up to two weeks.
Use gluten-free bread and make sure that all of your spices and any additions are gluten-free as well.
What to do with those bread crusts?
While your croutons are baking, place a handful of breadcrumbs at a time into a blender, or food processor, and grate into crumbs. Place in a zip-lock baggie or air-tight container. Use as a topping for casseroles, as a filler in meatloaf, or whenever a recipe calls for breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs will keep well in the freezer for months.
In conclusion: don’t be afraid to have fun experimenting with different seasonings such as taco seasoning, Cajun seasoning, etc…
I would love to hear what sort of combinations you have come up with!
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