Easy Homemade Croutons – Two Ways!
Learn How to Make Croutons with this easy recipe that can be made in the oven or on the stovetop. And both ways will be delicious! Plus, learn which cooking fat makes the lightest, crunchiest croutons!
Fresh Bread or Stale Bread Croutons?
When it comes to making homemade croutons, I prefer to use stale bread. And when I say “stale,” I’m not referring to bread that has hardened, but instead, bread that is just a few days old that I previously added to my bread scrap bag that I keep in the freezer.
When the bag is full, I defrost the bread scraps, which are still pliable, and start cutting them up into cubes. But first, remove all the crusts. Crust-free croutons, in my humble opinion, are tastier and have a more even texture, making for the perfect crunch!
What About the Crusts?
Don’t worry. If you’ve been with me for awhile now, you know I don’t waste anything. Although I don’t like to use the crusts to make croutons, I use the crusts to make breadcrumbs—both fresh and toasted—which I’ll share with you in a future post.
Two Simple Ways—Two Great Results!
Be sure to watch my video where I show you how you can make these croutons in the oven or on the stovetop. Both ways are easy, and both will produce great results. And I also share my favorite fat to use that produces the lightest and crunchiest croutons!
Stocking the Traditional Foods Pantry
For more Traditional Foods Pantry ideas, watch these other videos too where I show you how to make 5 Homemade Salad Dressings, including Ranch and Green Goddess. Plus, I share How to Make 1-Minute Homemade Mayonnaise and Sour Cream. And if you enjoy making your own Flavored Extracts, be sure to check out my videos where I show you how to make a total of 10 flavors, including a “Perpetual” Vanilla Extract!
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- Rimmed baking sheet
- 4 cups Cubed day-old bread
- 1/4 cup Fat or oil of choice that has a smoke point of 350°F or higher, such as lard, butter, ghee, olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon Fine ground sea salt
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon Various seasonings, optional For example, dried herbs, spices, garlic powder, etc.
For the Oven Method
- Place bread cubes in a bowl and toss in oil or melted fat (that has been allowed to cool) with salt and seasoning (if using).
- Spread bread cubes on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, and place the sheet on the middle rack of a pre-heated 350°F oven.
- After 7-8 minutes, open the oven and remove the baking sheet to a heat-proof surface.
- Toss bread cubes using a spatula, and redistribute them evenly on the baking sheet.
- Return bread cubes on the baking sheet into oven, and continue to bake for the remaining time for a total of 15 minutes.
- Check bread cubes at 15 minutes. If they are a golden brown, remove them from the oven. If they are not quite a golden brown yet, allow them to bake for another minute or two until the desired color is obtained.
- Allow croutons to cool before storing them in an airtight container in the pantry or the refrigerator. Croutons will stay fresh in the pantry or the refrigerator for approximately 2 weeks or up to 2-3 months in the freezer.
For the Stovetop
- Place fat or oil into a large frying pan and set to medium heat. Once the oil begins to warm, test the temperature with one bread cube. If the bread cube starts to sizzle, add all the bread cubes into a frying pan. Be careful not to crowd the bread cubes. If you are using a medium-sized frying pan, you will need to do this in two batches.
- Toss bread cubes in the frying pan so that all the cubes are coated in the melted fat or oil. Continue to toss bread cubes until they are a golden brown. While the bread cubes are still in the frying pan, sprinkle with salt and seasoning (if using).
- Once the bread cubes have reached the desired color, remove them from the frying pan onto a cooling rack or paper towel-lined plate to allow to drain.
- Allow croutons to cool before storing in an airtight container in the pantry or the refrigerator. Croutons will stay fresh in the pantry or the refrigerator for approximately 2 weeks or up to 2-3 months in the freezer.
Shop for items used in this blog post or video
Favorite Crouton Making Supplies
- Rubbermaid Slim Container
- Rubbermaid Airtight Container
- Hefty Jumbo Slider Bags
- ScanPan Frying Pan
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (This is my favorite!)
- Pure Lard
- Duck Fat
- FoodSaver Handheld Vacuum Sealer (Latest Version)
- FoodSaver Accessory Kit
- Handheld FoodSaver (older version)
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