We’ve all been there. You go to get the bread out to make a soft sandwich, or even a slice of toast, and are faced with a sorry, hard lump of stale bread, which really isn’t good for anything. Except, it’s absolutely perfect, for making homemade croutons. It’s already started drying out, so it’s really easy to finish off the job, and make some delicious crunchy morsels!
This is a great way to use up leftover bread rather than throw it away, and while you can also make breadcrumbs, with leftover bread most weeks, I just don’t need that many breadcrumbs! What I do need however, is crunchy, herby bites to eat with soup, pasta, or just as snacks when I feel the need…
I like to make my croutons chunky and substantial – otherwise what’s the point? – but they’re also delicious smashed up over simple tomato spaghetti, adding delicious texture to each mouthful. You could even use them as a crunchy topping to stuffed mushrooms or peppers, just before serving. I’m drooling just thinking about it!
Because these are so easy to make, delicious, and free from any processed nasties, I can’t imagine buying croutons in future. Adding different combinations of herbs and spices changes the flavour up and keeps them interesting, and means you can make them just how you like them! But for a starting point, here’s a basic version with mixed herbs.
Crunchy, herby croutons recipe
For about 150g stale bread, you will need:
1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch salt & pepper
Preheat the oven to 150°C and cut the stale bread into 2cm chunks.
Using a sandwich bag or plastic box (it needs to be large enough to shake the croutons around a bit!), add the olive oil, herbs and salt & pepper.
Pop in the croutons, close it up and give them a good shake to coat in the oil and herbs.
Spread the croutons out on a baking tray, and bake for 5-10 mins, or until they are light and dried out.
To make sure they’re completely dried through, turn off the oven, and leave the croutons in there while the oven cools.
Eat straight away, or store in an airtight container until you’re ready to munch and crunch!