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Home Made Croutons
11/25/2011 | Sheryl McGlochlin

Article image: Home Made Croutons

Croutons are a salad staple that can be made from virtually any bread. Chances are you have some bread in the kitchen right now that can be used. This recipe makes about four cups of croutons, but is easily adjusted.
Things You'll Need
· 4 c. breads - cut in 1/2-inch cubes
· 2/3 c. olive (not virgin) oil
· 3 garlic cloves
· salt and pepper
· STEP 1: Heat the oven to 275 degrees.
· STEP 2: Puree the garlic and oil in a blender or food processor, or mince the garlic as finely as possible and stir it into the oil. If seasoning the croutons with herbs or other seasonings, add them to the oil now.
· STEP 3: Place the bread cubes in a mixing bowl and toss by hand with some of the garlic oil and a few generous pinches of salt and pepper.
· STEP 4: Toss the bread cubes well with one hand and continue adding garlic oil so each cube is coated evenly and lightly. Be careful not to oversaturate the cubes with oil.
· STEP 5: Arrange the bread cubes on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in the oven.
· STEP 6: Cook for about 10 minutes, then toss with a spatula and return to the oven. Repeat after another 10 minutes, tasting a cube this time. The croutons should be partly crispy and beginning to turn golden.
· STEP 7: Continue to cook and toss periodically until the croutons are golden and crispy throughout. Taste them as they cook to make sure.
Tips & Warnings
· Although most any bread will work, sourdough, Italian and French white loaves are best. You can leave the crusts on or off.
· This process works by slowly toasting the croutons. Low heat is important to dry the cubes out completely as they toast so they become completely crispy. If the croutons turn golden before they become completely crispy, lower the oven temperature.
· The garlic in this recipe can be omitted or increased, depending on your personal preference. You can also use dry garlic powder. Other seasoning variations include any dried herb or dry Parmesan cheese.