Recipe: Susanne at Dish With Me
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Guys, these Homemade Italian Croutons are SO MUCH BETTER than store bought croutons! Seriously! Don’t believe me? Just try them and you’ll see!
This recipe calls for an entire loaf of French bread, but, by all means, if you have a partial loaf of left over bread, don’t toss it in the garbage, USE IT! Make these scrumptious little nuggets! Waste not, want not, right?
Also, the loaf of French bread I am referring to in this recipe is the fat loaf they sell at many stores for about 2 bucks, not the skinny baguette. I mean, you can use the skinny baguette, if you want to, but you’ll possibly need to make adjustments to the rest of the ingredients.
These tasty little cubes are delightful while gracing the top of a salad, or as a garnish for soups, or even just as a snack. Go ahead and try it…I think you’re going like it.
These will pair perfectly with my Creamy Ranch Dressing recipe.
HELPFUL TIPS FOR HOMEMADE ITALIAN CROUTONS
If you’re only using a partial loaf of bread, be sure to adjust the other ingredients. So, if you’re using only half a loaf of bread, then simply reduce all other ingredients by half.
When using a baking tray/sheet pan, I typically use three, yes I said three, long pieces of aluminum foil. I use the first piece of foil to make sure one side of the pan is completely covered, including the rim. I do the same on the other side of the pan and then I put the third strip down the middle, making sure the ends are covered. I cover that sucker up! Why, you may ask? Because sometimes it saves scrubbing the pan. Now if the foil gets pierced then you’ve still got a mess to clean, but, if you’re careful and do not pierce the foil, viola, you’re left with a clean pan! You may still want to give it a quick cleaning, BUT you won’t be left scrubbing, so that’s a win in my book!
After slicing the French bread into slices, cut the slices into strips and then into cubes. You can make these cubes bigger or smaller, but it will change cooking times slightly, so keep a close eye on them. The cooking time I have listed is approximate…it really depends on how big the cubes are and your oven. Make sure to stir them at about five minutes in.
Do not overcrowd the pan, so that all the sides can get toasty. Bake in two separate batches, if necessary.
Feel free to experiment with different types of bread; sourdough, ciabatta, you could even use plain left over white bread.
Let the croutons cool completely before putting them in a storage container. I store them for up to two weeks, if they last that long!
As ALWAYS in my recipes, use REAL BUTTER!!! Margarine will NOT yield the same results.
HOMEMADE ITALIAN CROUTONS
- Baking sheet
- 1 loaf French bread cubed
- 3/4 cup EVOO
- 4 Tablespoons real butter melted
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1.5 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1.5 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
- 1.5 teaspoon onion powder
- 1.5 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 15 spins freshly ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
- On a cutting board, slice bread into one inch slices. Next cut the slices into strips and then into cubes. Place cubed bread onto the foil lined baking tray, set aside.
- Whisk together the EVOO, melted butter and spices.
- Pour the mixture over the bread cubes and toss well to ensure all the bread gets some oil and seasonings.
- Do not overcrowd the bread. If the bread is overcrowded, it will not bake evenly. Some pieces will be crispy and some will not. Trust me, I learned this, first hand. Bake in two batches, if necessary. It's probably necessary 🙂
- Bake until croutons are a light golden color and crispy, approximately ten to twenty minutes. Stir croutons at the halfway point.
- Keep a very close eye on the croutons and do not let them get brown, or they will, indeed, be ready for the garbage can.
- Leave the croutons on the baking sheet until they are completely cool. Store in an airtight container.
- Bon apetito!
Very addictive salad topping.