Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Monday, February 20, 2012

Crunchy Croutons

I made dinner last week for about 50 of my closest friends, who were assembling hygiene kits that were headed to the Philippines.  You might have heard of a potato bar; I did a "potato soup bar" with crumbled bacon, homemade croutons, chives, and cheddar cheese.  The soup was creamy and hearty but the hit on the buffet table seemed to be the garnishes that went on top, specifically the homemade croutons.  Judging by the recipe requests, many women had never had homemade croutons.

Recipe???  I didn't follow one but here's how I made them.

1 loaf of firm bread (1-2 days old) preferably a dense Italian or peasant loaf
2 tablespoons of salted butter
2 tablespoon of good quality extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

*If your bread is fresh, slice it into 1/2-inch slices, and lay them on a sheet tray in a 200 F. degree oven for about 15 minutes to dry out the fresh bread.

Melt the butter and oil in a large skillet. Remove the crusts of your bread if you want the croutons fancy (sometimes I leave some of the crust on).  Slice the bread into 1/2-inch slices and then into 1/2-inch cubes. Put the cubes in the skillet and toss them until the oil and butter are absorbed.  Sprinkle them with some salt and pepper and toast the cubes, stirring them frequently, until they are golden brown and crispy.
When all the croutons are toasted and crisp, sprinkle them with grated cheese and lay them out on a sheet pan to cool.  The cheese will melt and stick to the croutons.  Toss them into a soup or a salad. 

*You can substitute other hard cheese for the Parmesan or leave it out completely.  Also, vary your salt variety salt or add different herbs and spices depending on how you plan to use your croutons.

These will keep at room temperature for a day or two, but they're best eaten the day you make them.


  1. Home made croutons are so much better than store bought (like everything ;), aren't they? And yours look especially yummy! Have you tried Ina's roast chicken with croutons? It's so good, and you've already got the croutons -- just a thought ;).


  2. This looks like a fun recipe Bonnie. We never finish our loaves of homemade bread before they get old, so this will be a great use for the bread. Thanks for posting!

  3. Sounds like something I could just sit and eat by the handful! My daughter who is finishing up culinary school just got a job as a baker at Texas Roadhouse making their famous rolls, their brownies and their croutons! Now I had better try making my own too!

  4. I've made cake croutons, but never bread croutons:) These sound fantastic!
    P.S. My daughter-in-law is from the Philippines, and my son went there on his mission.

  5. I love to make croutons out of the crusty bread at Costco. When I make them, very few end up on a salad, the boys eat them like they are chips! YUM. I'm getting hungry looking at these and the roasted chicken!