25 August, 2009

Homemade Croutons are What's Cooking!

I love to make homemade croutons. When I make them at home basically from scratch they are fresh and I know exactly what goes in them. And if you forget, like I do, about a loaf of bread that is going stale, this is the recipe for you.

Miss M will eat a bowl full of croutons if I let her.
Yes, they are that good!

Jenna's Croutons

1 loaf french bread (I prefer the whole wheat loaf)
4 T. EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) optional 1/2 EVOO, 1/2 butter
1 t. sea salt
1 T. dried parsley
2 cloves minced garlic or 1 t. garlic powder
1 T. grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Mix all ingredients except for the bread in a medium bowl. Cut the loaf of bread into big dices or chunks. Stir the bread pieces into oil mixture until the bread is coated. This is the time to taste the coated bread to taste the seasonings. Add more salt or garlic if needed.

Pour the coated bread onto a cookie sheet in a single layer.

Bake at 300 degrees F or 150 C for 10 minutes. Stir croutons and cook for 10 more minutes. If they are crunchy after the combined 20 minutes of cooking, you are good to go. If not, stir again and bake for 10 more minutes. Once croutons are crunchy take out of oven and let cool in pan. After croutons cool completely, store in an air tight container.

Ours never last longer than a few days but my Better Homes and Garden cookbook says their recipe lasts up to 1 week. My recipe is very loosely based on BH&G cookbook - you know the old school red and white plaid one? I open it up quite often to get cooking temps and times.

We eat croutons on salads and soups. This just happens to be the same oil recipe I use to make garlic bread. I broil the bread quickly instead of baking for so long. Of course, being extra cautious as to not burn the garlic toast to a blackened crisp.
En Guete!

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