There is nothing as satisfying as crispy homemade croutons. Their crunch and flavour make them a perfect addition to so many dishes, such as this hearty garlic soup. Also, they are perfect for upcycling stale bread if some of my favourite bread doesn’t get eaten in time (which rarely happens but well). I like to give it a new life by making delicious french toast or croutons with it.
They taste superior to any store-bought alternative and are super quick to make. The whole process takes roughly 15 minutes and is definitely worth the effort!
Making Croutons in the Pan:
While there are many options for making croutons, I like frying them in the pan the most. Using the pan will yield nicely toasted, beautifully crispy croutons with a toasty flavour. Alternatively, you can apply the same ideas of seasoning, and bake the croutons in the oven, or use an air fryer.
What Bread to choose for Croutons:
Technically, you can make croutons with most kinds of bread. I like to use bread with a sturdy crust, so today I used a local sourdough bread for making croutons. Using light wheat bread such as a baguette works fine as well. In general, I’d recommend using high-quality bread with a nice crust when making croutons.
How to make Homemade Croutons:
Cut or tear your croutons into bite-sized chunks. I like to go for cubes of roughly a centimetre in every dimension. Collect them into a bowl, drizzle olive oil over them, and season with salt and pepper. Also, add a few pinches of garlic powder, which works amazingly on these crispy croutons. Depending on the staleness of the bread, you can also sprinkle a few millimetres of plant-based milk over the croutons, but be careful not to soak them. Toss the bread pieces around to give them an even oil coating and seasoning.
Put a pan on your stove. Be careful to heat it too much, as you don’t want to burn the oil. You do that by keeping the temperature below to smoke point of the olive oil. Heating oils beyond their intended temperature can be unhealthy and destroys the nice natural flavour of the olive oil. Add the croutons, and toast them until reaching a nice golden colour. As stale bread toasts quite quickly, be careful and toss them often to prevent burning. They will also continue toasting from the remaining heat once you remove the pan from the stove, so keep a good eye on them.
Now you should have a bowl of beautifully toasted, crispy homemade croutons. Now the only challenge is not to snack on them all before topping your dishes with them because you may find them absolutely irresistible. Enjoy!
Soups to Serve Croutons with:
- This vibrant red beet soup is so beautiful and delicious.
- Simple roasted tomato soup is a classic for a reason.
- This creamy pumpkin soup is as easy to make as it is satisfying to eat!
- Peppery parsnip soup is so sweet and hearty.
- A vegan beet soup tastes as vibrant as it looks.
- Pappa alla Pomodoro is a tuscan classic.
Crispy Homemade CroutonsCourse: GarnishDifficulty: Easy
5 slices stale bread with crust
30ml olive oil
1 pinch salt & pepper
1 pinch of garlic powder
Plant-based milk (optional)
- Chop or cut your bread into bite-sized chunks. Collect them in a bowl, drizzle the olive oil over them, season with garlic powder, salt and pepper, and toss well. If the bread is extra stale, you can add a few sprinkles of plant-based milk to the mix, but be careful to add only a few millilitres.
- Heat a pan on your stove, and add the croutons. Stale bread will toast quickly, so toss often to prevent burning. Take off the heat after reaching desired colour and crispiness, and you are good to go!