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Homemade Croutons

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by Merme on April 03, 2006 10:32 AM
While it is quite true that you can purchase croutons of many flavors at a relatively low cost and save yourself some time and trouble, nothing purchased can really compare with the flavor and fun of making your own.

Although there are nearly infinite possibilities in terms of seasonings to try, my family and friends always enjoy the traditional Garlic and Oregano flavor. But you could just as easily try them with a mixed blend such as "Italian Seasoning" or add other spices like Paprika. Or even try something hot if you like hot stuff. The process will be the same whatever flavors selected.

Also, understand that good croutons take a minimum of 6 hours in a low oven... 7 is better. This renders them crispy but still soft enough to actually bite. If you like the kind that are more rock hard, bake 'em longer.

The other decision you must make concerns the freshness of the bread used. I prefer the freshest bread I can get my hands on and do NOT mind the extra care needed to cube it. Others prefer to use bread that has been allowed to dry a bit first, like one might use for stuffing. I think the fresher, softer bread works best.


1 and 1/2 loaves of the bread of your choice. I use large size loaves of white bread.
3/4 pound real butter
Olive Oil -- approximately 16 oz
Garlic Powder (NOT salt!)
scant measure salt and pepper


Cut the bread slices into crouton sized cubes, nothing too big to put in the mouth in one bite.

Put all the cubes in a big (turkey size) roasting pan.

Melt the butter in the microwave and pour over the bread cubes.


Now, using your eye to judge this, begin to pour Olive Oil over the cubes, noticing which cubes don't seem to have any butter or oil on them. You will probably use a few ounces at this step.

Sprinkle Oregano evenly over the cubes.

GENEROUSLY sprinkle the garlic powder so you get an even coverage over all the top of the pan.

Scant shakes of salt and pepper.


Place in 250 degree oven, uncovered, for one hour.

At the end of the hour, take out the pan and give them a good look. Stir. Add more Olive Oil, more Oregano and Garlic Powder.

Return to oven and bake another hour.

At the end of each hour, check the pan, stirring them each time. Where there seem to be dry spots, add more Oil and stir up from the bottom. If the garlic and oregano doesn't have enough punch to it, add more, trying to keep the flavors in balance. Sometimes you might need to add more of one thing but not the other. Taste as you go!

As they bake, notice the volume inside the pan decreases so while you started with a pan heaping with cubes, you will end up with 1/2 a roasting pan full.

Generously sample as the baking continues! Your house will smell delightful all day!

Call a halt to the baking at some point between 6 and 7 hours, depending on your "crunch" preference. Allow to cool. I will sometimes spread them out on cookie sheets to assist the cooling process.

Store in zip lock bags.

You will never regret a crouton baking day. And bagged up, they make great gifts!


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"In the midst of winter, I learned there lives in me an invincible summer" Camus (maybe a paraphrase)
by penny in ontario on April 03, 2006 08:46 PM
those sound really good Merme and easy to make

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by patches1414 on April 04, 2006 03:15 AM
Hi Merme! [wavey]

I was reading about your croutons in the Coffee House the day you were making them and they sounded wonderful [thumb] ! I asked if you were going to share the recipe, but I didn't see a reply, so I decided to check here and I found you and your recipe [thumb] . I hate [Eek!] the rock hard croutons, so these should be great! Thanks a bunch! [kissies]

patches [kitty]

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"Lord, I love you and I need you, come into my heart, and bless me, my family, my home, and my friends, in Jesus' name. Amen!"

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