If you’ve never made your own croutons, you’re missing out. They’re fast, simple, and they bring your soups and salads to a whole new level. I’ve included lots of pictures since this recipe is all about the details.
The bread you start with can be fresh, stale, or even frozen (thaw it first, though). You can use anything from an artisan loaf to hamburger buns. The bread shown is slightly smashed and cost a whopping 99 cents.
Preheating is crucial! If you don’t, they may turn out dense and soggy instead of light and crunchy.
from the kitchen of Sarah Zero
- 1 loaf of bread (I often go for Italian)
- extra virgin olive oil
- spray can of olive oil
- kosher salt
- dried herb, such as rosemary (optional—not shown here)
Preheat your oven to 425°F. Cut your bread into ½” or 1″ cubes (no need to be precise). Generously coat a baking sheet* with extra virgin olive oil. Don’t be stingy. Sprinkle the pan with a hefty pinch of kosher salt. Spread your bread cubes across in one layer. Spritz the top of the bread with olive oil spray. Sprinkle with a bit more kosher salt (and herbs if you’re using them). Slide them into the oven on a middle or low rack. Bake for 5 minutes, remove pan to toss croutons, then back to the oven for another 5 minutes. Check, and remove from oven once golden brown.
These can be stored overnight if you let them cool completely and put them in air-tight container. Do not refrigerate. Enjoy!
*My mom—who taught cooking classes for years—says these are technically “jelly roll pans” since they have sides. I believe she is right, but does anyone really call them jelly roll pans? I’m curious.