If you know how to make croutons at home, you’ll never settle for store-bought again. We love to make homemade croutons for winter soups and salads because they’re tasty and also a good way to use up a day-old loaf of bread. In summer, we keep a steady supply on hand so we can make Panzanella Salad with fresh tomatoes from the garden.
See our recipe for Cream of Tomato Soup.
4 cups torn or cubed Grand Central rustic bread (such as Como, Peasant) – about 4 slices
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or melted butter)
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Adjust rack to center position.
Cut bread into 1-inch slices, then cut or tear into bite-size pieces (smaller ones for a casserole topping). In a large bowl, toss bread cubes with olive oil or melted butter and season with a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
Bake in preheated oven, tossing the croutons midway through, until golden brown and crispy, about 10-12 minutes. For chewier croutons, reduce baking time to 8-10 minutes.
Let cool. Use immediately or store in an air-tight container or zip-top plastic bag at room temperature. Freeze for longer storage.
1 – Toss with finely grated hard cheese, such as parmesan, just after removing from oven. 2 – Add chopped fresh or dried herbs just before baking. 3 – Crush a clove of garlic and heat with butter or olive oil in sauté pan until fragrant but not burned; discard garlic and proceed with recipe.