Making my delicious croutons is so very simple. The recipe below is for plain croutons, but I’ve included the optional ingredients to make Italian croutons. I usually use these in salads, but they are great in soups and for making bread crumbs. I have always preferred toasted bread crumbs. Just whiz in the blender or food processor and there you have it–tiny little crumbs!
I should note that croutons are best made with at least two-day old bread. Please don’t try to make croutons with new bread. Remember that the Counsels on Diets and Foods relates that two to three day old bread is most healthy (See Counsels on Diets and Foods, pp. 317.2; 319.1 ). By that time, it has lost all of the yeast germ, making it healthy for consumption. So, I normally make croutons out of old, drying bread. After about five days, I start checking the bread for dryness. If it’s drying, it becomes croutons. I am so on top of this because I do not like losing my bread (with old bread, mold sets in and this must be discarded). Oven dried bread keeps for a long, long time!
The next recipe for dried bread I’ll release here is for zwieback bread, which we ate a great deal in my childhood. This is a very healthy bread and it keeps for a great long time. For now, I hope you enjoy making your own simple croutons!
- Homemade bread or Agave-Spelt Whole Wheat Bread, cubed (or any bread you have on hand, even if store bought)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Oregano, dried
- Basil, dried
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Cut up the bread in small cubes (Optionally, after you cube the bread, you may put into large bag or bowl; lightly drizzle extra virgin olive oil; sprinkle onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil; and then shake or stir. The olive oil helps these ingredients stick to the bread). When making plain croutons, omit everything optional.
- Spread out the bread cubes in one layer on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. This will allow them to evenly bake.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Then remove from the oven, if they feel a bit soft, move them about on the sheet, and place in the oven for additional 2 minutes. Larger cubes will take more time to bake and dry out.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes to cool and jar. Enjoy!!!