There’s no good reason to buy croutons, they are very easy to make, and use up those last few slices of bread that might have gone to waste. You can collect slices in the freezer until you have enough to make croutons. You can even combine different kinds of bread for “custom” croutons.
A simple rule for making croutons is 1 cup of croutons to 1 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter and 1/8 teaspoon each garlic powder and dried basil or Italian seasoning. Baking times may vary depending on how dry the bread cubes are.
12 bread slices (about 4 cups) ½” cubes lightly packed
¼ cup olive oil or ½ stick butter, melted
½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
½ teaspoon dried basil or Italian seasoning (optional)
Preheat oven to 325° F. Trim crusts from bread (save them for bread crumbs).
Cut the bread in ½” cubes and spread in a single layer in a baking pan, and bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Stir the cubes, return pan to oven and bake another 10 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, drizzle the fat over the cubes and sprinkle with the seasonings (if desired.) Stir well.
Continue to bake, stirring every 5 minutes until the croutons are golden brown and crisp, 15-20 minutes more. Allow to cool. The croutons will stay fresh for up to 3 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature.
Some recipes to use either croutons or dry bread cubes:
Try plain dry bread cubes in dressings: