Everyday Reading: Homemade Croutons

January 22, 2014

Homemade Croutons

Since having a second child and the amount of work I've taken on increasing drastically, there are some things I've just given up making from scratch.

The first to go was tortillas. WAY too much work. And I didn't really like them any better than store-bought (actually, my all-time favorite are those store-bought ones that you cook yourself, but they are so laden with trans-fat that I can't bring myself to buy them. Too bad, because they are ridiculously good).

Then, it was bread. Letting myself off the hook for that was a huge relief and I haven't looked back, even though I have a bread recipe I really like.

But one thing I can't imagine that I'll ever give up making on my own is homemade croutons. If you ever see me promoting a brand of store-bought croutons on this blog, you'll know that one of three things is going on. 1) They are the best freaking croutons in the universe, 2) I've become a complete sell-out or 3) I've given up cooking all together.

When I was little, my mom would buy those salad bags with all the components (lettuce, dressing, cheese, and croutons) and they always had about five croutons in there. This is just not right. I always make a TON of croutons, and then Bart and Ella eat about a third of them before I even put them in the salad and then we all have all the croutons we could want in our actual salads. It's a better way to live.

Super easy homemade croutons. Way better than anything you'll buy at the store and a great way to use up the last slices of bread

Also, I've noticed that it doesn't even matter what else is in a salad as long as you have enough croutons. It could just be lettuce and croutons, and my family will eat it.

P.S. I can't imagine I'll ever go back to store-bought ranch dressing either. Homemade ranch dressing takes three minutes and it's a thousand times better than anything I've ever bought in a bottle.

Super easy homemade croutons. Way better than anything you'll buy at the store and a great way to use up the last slices of bread

Homemade Croutons

Note: I like to cook mine at 425 because it's fairly fast, but you can bake them at whatever temperature you'd like if you have other things going in the oven. Just keep an eye on them and they'll turn out fine. 

2 slices of bread, cubed (I've used everything from french bread to regular slices of whole-wheat sandwich bread)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1-2 teaspoons garlic salt
Pepper


Preheat  oven to 425. In a 9x9 baking dish, toss together the cubed bread adn the olive oil until the bread is evenly coated.

Sprinkle with the garlic salt and pepper to taste.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice to keep from them burning. Let them cool slightly before adding to your salad.

Super easy homemade croutons. Way better than anything you'll buy at the store and a great way to use up the last slices of bread

12 comments:

  1. I'm rather surprised that you don't make your own bread anymore. I remember you saying something to me about store-bought bread smelling like chemicals, and I thought you were pretty melodramatic. But now that I make my own bread (it helps to have a double oven and to do 8 loaves at once) I totally agree. We've found a kind that has pretty much the same stuff in it that I use at home. It's called Harper's Homemade, and it doesn't smell. I think it's not the best bread ever, but Eric really likes it. So when we run out of bread, that's our go-to.

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  2. Wow, I am impressed you used to make your own bread and tortillas! I make muffins sometimes as a treat but that is about it. Have you read the book "make the bread, buy the butter"? I think you would like it. It analyzes the cost (time, $) to make tons of stuff homemade vs store bought and has tons of recipes. I will probably keep buying both the bread/butter but it was a fun read.

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  3. Costco has some awesome Tortilla Land raw tortillas that you cook at home. They have no trans fats and have only 5 ingredients (wheat flour, water, canola oil, salt, and sugar). I tried making my own tortillas last week; I was able to roll them about as thin as the Costco tortillas they didn't taste as good and took a lot longer.

    I completely agree with you on homemade croutons except we make a lot more at once because they are great hot right off the pan and then with salad.

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    Replies
    1. I was going to chime in about the Tortilla Land tortillas as well. They are a staple in our fridge.

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    2. Me too! I love Tortilla Land tortillas. I couldn't find them at Costco when we lived in Alabama, but I found them at Wal-Mart. The Costco here carries a different brand now (Tortilla Fresca) that I like just as well. They are not low fat, but they are trans fat free.

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  4. After you wrote about this initially (years ago!) I started making my own croutons and have never looked back! Yay!

    xox

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  5. I always think about making croutons and never do it. I'll consider this my motivation.

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  6. Another vote for Tortilla Land tortillas over here.

    We've been eating a lot of salad lately. I should definitely make some croutons to accompany it.

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  7. Echoing everyone who said Tortilla Land. They are delicious! I can only find at them WalMart, though.

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  8. whoa... who knew croutons were so easy to make. And that dressing recipe is tempting as well.

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  9. I've never made croutons before but you make it sound easy and delicious! Thanks!

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  10. One of my favorite food pictures yet!

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