There is nothing like freshly made croutons to add the perfect finishing touch to a soup or a salad. I’ve been making these for a while and never thought much of it. I recently made them with soup for my friends Danielle and Bill. When they called me for the recipe, I knew it was time to add it to the website, so here we go. The trick is to use a good-quality bread and extra-virgin olive oil.
My friend Adrienne had a good idea. When you have leftover ends of loaves or bread that are going stale, cube the bread and put it in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. After a while, you’ll have a good supply of pre-cubed bread to make croutons quickly. No thawing needed! Just throw them in the pan.
Start with a good quality bread, Italian, French, Multi-Grain or any combination thereof. It’s OK if the bread is a few days old and a good way to get rid of the ends of loaves. Slice the bread and dice into approximately 1 inch cubes.
Heat a generous amount of olive oil,several tablespoons (Use a really good quality of oil) in a large frying pan over medium heat and throw in the bread cubes. Toss until coated with olive oil.
Toast the bread for a few minutes and then sprinkle generously with granulated garlic, white pepper and a bit of salt if desired.
Spray the tops of the cubes with more olive oil, and keep turning every few minutes until the cubes are browned. Adjust the heat so you don’t burn the cubes. Fresh bread will take longer than stale bread.
Remove from heat and enjoy! The cubes should be crisp on the outside but soft on the inside.
After you have made this a couple of times you’ll figure out the amounts and how much heat to use. Really, it’s pretty hard to screw up unless you aren’t keeping an eye on it while it is toasting. Again, use a good quality bread (Avoid sandwich bread if possible) and your best extra-virgin olive oil.
A time and money-saving idea is when you have leftover bread ends or bread going stale, chop it into cubes and put it in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. Then all you will need to do is pour some pre-cubed bread to your frying pan and you are ready to go. You are also not wasting the ends of a loaf of bread.