Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Homemade Croutons

On Pinterest, I'd found a recipe for home made croutons. I followed the recipe to a T for my first batch, but both my husband and I thought they were very bland. So, in the many batches we've made since (yeah, ours are that good), we've altered the recipe to make them much more bold flavored!

What You'll Need:
1/2 stick of Butter
Bread, cubed
Butter Flavored Cooking Spray
Seasoning: Garlic, Onion, Parmesan, Spicy etc... just one needed per batch!

Cut up bread into whatever sized croutons you like. I wouldn't go too small, but they don't have to be huge. I think mine were about 1 inch long x .5 inch wide x.5 inch thick... but again, your preference. We've used Panera's Sundried Tomato Bread, and French Bread, and also some Sesame from Panera. Any kind will work really, though I haven't tried sandwich sliced bread.

Either leave the sit out on the counter for ONE night, or bake them in the oven at 300 for 10 minutes so they can dry out a bit.

Melt the butter in a pan on MEDIUM heat (don't ever change the heat setting from medium!), and sprinkle some of your chosen seasoning in. Just a light dusting over the top of the melted butter. This will absorb into your croutons... the more seasoning you use, the stronger the flavor!

Let the bread sit in the pan in a single layer. Check one or two pieces ever few minutes to see if they've started to brown on the other side. Once they brown, flip them over. Just before you flip them, spray them with the Butter Cooking Spray and sprinkle on another dusting of seasoning.You'll almost need to do this piece by piece to not burn any. You don't have to toast the exact opposite side of the crouton, just make sure that you're toasting a side not already toasted!

Once the other side has browned, take the off the heat. They can sit in the pan to cool and will stay good and crunchy. After they have cooled, put them in an air-tight storage bag or container. 

 My husband and I have found this to be a great way to rescue bread that might be tasting a little old or dried out. They last for weeks after you make them, so make several batches to have on hand! We will never buy croutons again!


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