Awhile back, I wanted to attempt a recipe that called for croutons. It was the only ingredient missing from my list (or so I thought – brought down by marinara sauce!) and I didn’t want to make a special run to the store just for croutons. So I dug around in my refrigerator and found the Parker House Rolls and brioche I’d made a few days earlier. Then I set about to finding out how to make croutons.
It’s actually ridiculously easy. And the results are really tasty – while waiting for the chicken parmesan dish I needed them for to finish, I couldn’t resist dipping the extra croutons into the marinara sauce I made. And dipping. And dipping. And oh god, did I really eat that many croutons!?!?
Yes, yes, I did.
I found recipes both simple and complicated online and did a sort of weird hybrid mash. I actually made 2 batches of croutons, one to use the brioche and one to use the rolls. My techniques varied slightly, but not much. The first time, I didn’t bother to look up a recipe and just sort of drizzled olive oil and garlic salt on top. Then I decided to look up a recipe and ho-boy. I was way off. I had my oven at 350-degrees, way too hot for the slow baking the croutons needed. I might have just barely avoided crouton-disaster!
Also, the recipes all say to place oil and croutons in a bowl and mix to coat. Probably because my bread was hard, it was difficult to get an “even coating” as the recipes called for. So I just sort of mixed my second batch for a little, gave up, and threw it in the oven. I couldn’t tell a difference between the croutons drizzled with oil and the ones I actually attempted mixing. I think the high butter content already present in the bread may have helped with that. So here is the unpatented Melanie version of homemade croutons. It really is ridiculously easy.
Bread, cut into 1” cubes
1- Preheat oven to 275-degrees.
2- Place bread in large pan and coat / drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic salt and onion powder.
3- Place pan in oven and let slowly cook. Shake croutons up every 10 minutes or so. If starting to brown too quickly, lower heat. After 20 minutes, taste crouton to see if it is sufficiently cooked through. If not, keep cooking.