I love to make homemade bread for our family, in fact, my bread machine is one of our most used appliances. With only three people eating bread in our house though, we usually only manage to make it through a half to three quarters of a small loaf. Since homemade bread lacks the preservatives of store-bought bread its demise comes quickly. By day two, it seems too stale for eating, but perfect for toast. By day three, it has completely lost its star quality and is in need of a makeover. In the past, the bread has simply made its way to the trash, but lately I have taken up a new hobby- making croutons!
I never realized how much better a homemade crouton tastes, compared to the prepackaged kind, but there is absolutely no comparison. You can add anything you would like to your croutons- Parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, fresh garlic, garlic powder, cayenne pepper (just to name a few). You can make these croutons just how you like them- spicy, salty, or cheesy!
In the recipes that I ran across, they suggested cutting off the crust. I decided to go ahead and take the risk and included the crust. The results were delicious and there is absolutely no need to omit it.
I used homemade bread, but feel free to use up whatever bread you have laying around your house. You can use the heels of bread (toss them in your freezer for a big batch), hot dog buns, hamburger buns, or loaves of day old bread. Although those mentioned may not be as glamorous as a homemade loave of bread (I am sure Martha would not approve), this blog is all about being frugal!
Here is my recipe for homemade croutons. These turned out so unbelievably delicious. This recipe is just for a basic crouton, but you can throw in any ingredients you like. Enjoy!
Amy’s Homemade Croutons
6 slices of bread (any kind, but don’t tell Martha!), ¼ cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon oregano, liberal sprinkling of garlic salt (to taste).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cube bread into desired size and toss into a bowl. Sprinkle all of the seasonings on top of your bread cubes. Drizzle olive oil over the cubes and then toss gently with your fingers. When all pieces have been coated, put cubes into a single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for twenty minutes. Allow to cool. Place in an airtight container and these can be stored for up to weeks in this container.