Homemade croutons are a staple in my kitchen. Whenever I have leftover bread, I make them. Like crostini, there's something wildly satisfying about cubes of toasted, crunchy bread. They're a versatile ingredient and can be thrown into salads, placed on top of soups, or munched on as a snack. Toss them with chunks of fresh tomato and olive oil for a quick panzanella. Or spear with toothpicks and plunge into cheesy fondue.
Once you know the simple technique for making croutons, you can season them with whatever you like: grated cheese, dried or fresh herbs, spices, garlic, etc. You can also vary the moistening ingredient — sometimes I'll make croutons with melted butter and other times I prefer olive oil. Same goes with the crust: you can remove it or, for a more rustic crouton, leave it on.
One thing, however, that always remains the same, is the cooking method. Although you can easily saute them in a pan on the stove, I prefer to bake my croutons in the oven. It provides a crispy texture and requires less work. To look at my recipe, read more