I've mentioned in my CSA posts before that we eat salads on the regular. At least once a week we have salad night - and typically it's one of Mark's prep/cook nights. But last night he was otherwise occupied with 5 million errands, so I hopped in. I knew we needed more croutons and had him give me a quick phone tutorial on how he makes our homemade ones.
Making your own croutons is actually super easy. They were actually finished by the time I had all of the other vegetables prepped! Here's the basics of how Mark makes ours. (See the end of the post for an actual recipe.)
This week I used some leftover sourdough bread that Mark had made. When we have loaves of bread, we put the leftover slices we might not use in the freezer right away before they mold or get super hard. Sometimes we have enough for croutons right away, other times we stock pile until we have a few more slices.
Microwave the bread for a bit to make it easy to cube.
Cube it up and throw it on a baking sheet to toast for 10-15 minutes.
When the bread is toasted, toss it in melted butter, garlic powder and salt. (Though really you could use other seasonings if you were interested.)
Return to the cookie sheet and bake for another 15-20 minutes, stirring at 5 minute intervals. After you're done baking, let them cool and then chow down!
Croutons are super simple to make and help you waste less bread. We are typically a sourdough house, but you could make the croutons out of other types of bread, or mix and match. They also can save you money, since just a few slices of bread makes enough croutons for at least 6 servings (and I admittedly go heavy-handed on the croutons since they're so delicious).
Make it Yourself: Baked garlic croutons
Makes 4-6 servings
~6 slices of bread (can be frozen or just stale)
4 Tbsp. butter, melted
Garlic powder and salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- If bread is frozen, microwave for 15 seconds to soften enough to cut easily.
- Cube bread into desired pieces. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Bake until bread is toasted, 10-15 minutes.
- Remove and toss in a large mixing bowl with melted butter and garlic powder and salt to taste. (Go ahead and taste them - they might be a bit chewy at this stage, but you'll know if you got the seasoning right.)
- Return to baking sheet and bake for another 15-20 minutes, stirring at 5 minute intervals until crunchy and golden brown.
- Let them cool and eat them by the handful. I mean, put them on a salad, like a classy, civilized person.
Note: This is a recipe that isn't an exact science. You might like to use more or less butter depending on how much bread you have or what type it is. This is more about the method than the specifics.