How to make quick, easy, delicious homemade croutons.
- Day old bread such as French or Italian bread, or sourdough
- Olive oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
- Cut bread into whatever size cubes you like and place in a large bowl
- Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the cubes and toss with your hands. Continue adding olive oil, bit by bit, until all the bread crumbs are nicely coated with oil.
- Spread the croutons on the baking sheet and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a very small amount of red pepper flakes or cayenne.
- Bake for 10-20 minutes; bake time depends on how large your croutons are and how crispy you like them. I like mine very crispy and so I let them bake until they are a deep golden brown. If you prefer croutons with a slightly soft center, bake them until they are a light golden brown. To test doneness, simply take one out of the oven and try it.
- Store croutons in a air tight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Use this basic recipe to make as many, or as few, croutons as you like – just add the olive oil bit by bit as you toss the bread cubes with your hands until all of the bread cubes are coated with oil.
You can also sprinkle the the salt, pepper, cayenne or red pepper over the croutons while they are in the mixing bowl and then toss with your hands to distribute. I prefer to sprinkle the spices over the croutons after spreading them on the baking sheet because I feel that it gives me more control over even distribution.
Experiment with different flavors by sprinkling different dried herbs over the croutons along with the salt, pepper, and red pepper or cayenne. Thyme, oregano, basil, onion powder, turmeric, chili powder, rosemary… the options are endless.