Why buy croutons when you can make your own so easily? This is one of those things to make for guests that really impresses them, and they have no idea how simple it is.
I also love that I can use stale bread for this recipe. With only two of us in our household, when I buy a french loaf it often goes stale or we can’t eat it in time, so I use the rest of it for croutons.
Start off by roasting the garlic cloves on the stove top, and while they’re roasting cube your bread. I did 1″ cubes this time, but you can do smaller depending on what you serve them with. For salads, I prefer smaller cubes so it’s easier to fit in your mouth with the lettuce and all, but for soups I like the larger cubes. You don’t have to cut them perfectly uniform by any means; as you can see below I just do a rough job. Let’s call it “rustic” as if it’s intentional.
Once your garlic cloves cool, mince them and whisk them into the olive oil. Drizzle the olive oil/garlic mixture slowly over the cubes, tossing them as you drizzle so you get as even of a coat as possible.
Then lay them out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. You can line the pan with parchment paper or a silpat to help with clean up. Sprinkle salt over the top of the croutons. Don’t you dare skimp on the salt here, and use a good salt (NO table salt!) such as kosher or a coarser grind. My preference is my himalayan salt that I have in my salt grinder.
Next pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
The wonderful smell of garlic bread was permeating the house… we love the smell of these! When they come out they are so toasty golden.
They are SO GOOD. My fiancé likes to pop these in his mouth like chips, but they are also great on soups, like tomato soup, or on salads, like the lovely one I enjoyed below. They have that great roasted garlic flavor, and add a great crunch for textural contrast.
Makes: 8 Cups Croutons
- Half loaf french bread (about 8 cups worth of cubes), can sub any white bread
- 6 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tsp Salt
- 6 Cloves “Roasted” Garlic
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- Roast garlic on stove top using “Roasted” Garlic method.
- While garlic is roasting & cooling, cut bread into 1/2″ – 1″ cubes.
- Mince garlic and whisk it into olive oil.
- Slowly drizzle olive oil & garlic mixture over bread cubes, tossing cubes while drizzling to coat cubes evenly.
- Lay out bread cubes in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing once halfway through baking. They are done when they have a golden brown tone.
- Allow to cool, and then store in airtight container.
You can mix these up depending on what you plan to eat them with by adding other flavors after tossing the bread cubes with oil & garlic mixture. For the herbs, either fresh or dried can be used.
- Italian Herb: oregano, basil, and parsley
- Herb Blend: rosemary, thyme, parsley, and sage
- Chili: chile powder (and cayenne or red pepper flakes for a kick)
- Cheesy Herb: nutritional yeast and parsley (and cayenne or red pepper flakes for a kick)