You’ll want to keep these easy homemade croutons on hand once you’ve made them for the first time. Any time you have bread that’s a little bit old, you can cut it up and make croutons. Once cooled, they keep nearly forever in an airtight container or ziplock bag. We always have some on hand for soup and salad toppers.
You can use any kind of bread to make croutons. I’ve used wheat bread, sourdough bread and baguettes or French bread. You can cut the cubes to any size you want. I make mine around 1 inch to 1-1/2 inches square and about 1/2 inch deep.
My recipe calls for two cups of cubed bread. You can halve this, double it, triple it, or whatever. The seasonings are pretty much added “to taste.” My measurements are provided as a starting point, to give you an idea of what you need on hand.
For crouton seasonings, the sky is the limit. You can use herbs like oregano, basil, thyme (especially for croutons used in soups), and garlic powder or garlic salt, onion powder or onion salt. For mine, I use Italian seasoning (which is an herb blend) and garlic powder, plus table salt. Black pepper would work, too. Experiment and create your own blend!
I always use olive oil when making croutons, because it has great flavor.
When baking, be sure to oil your baking pan or line the pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Keep an eye on the croutons as they are under the broiler – things could get out of hand fast! You don’t want croutons with burnt edges. Once you see the croutons starting to brown on the first side, pull them out and toss them around with a spatula or tongs. Some croutons might need to be turned over by hand. The important thing is for them to brown as evenly as possible (for the crunch!). Watch them carefully during the second broil and remove the pan as soon as you think the croutons are done.
If you plan to use your croutons with soup, they would be great as a topper on Roasted Asparagus Soup, Wild Rice Mushroom Soup, or Fresh Summer Garden Tomato Soup. You can find more soup recipes here.