How to Make Homemade Croutons from Loaf Bread

Dilemma 1: We love croutons but they go fast with this my big family....
Dilemma 2: My kids hate the ends of bread. So we typically end up wasting a lot of bread....

Solution: Use the ends of the bread loaves to make homemade croutons!

Out of the blue, it dawned on me last week to start saving the ends of the bread. You see, when I went to the refrigerator, there were several bags of bread with only the ends in them.  (We go through a lot of bread each week). So, I decided to take the ends, place them all in an empty bread bag as the week progressed and store it in the refrigerator.

Today, I pulled the bag out and went surfing to find a homemade crouton recipe. 

Well, I have made homemade croutons before, but I remember them coming out kind of greasy and soft, so I wanted to get it right this time.

I found a lot of recipes that used Italian loaf bread. But I had your typical American sliced bread loaf.  So I kept searching til I found a forum where someone had asked about using basic loaf bread.

So, I just kind of took pieces from recipes here and there and tips from the forum to come up with my own recipe for homemade croutons. And I made them today. And they came out great, alhamdulillah.

What You Need:

  • Loaf bread slices or ends ( I had about 8 or so) 
  • Seasoning such as Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt (and my addition, parmesan cheese); add according to your liking (I just sprinkled some in)
  • Olive oil (roughly 1/4 cup)

What You Do:

1. Cut the slices into cubes (someone online mentioned tearing them apart for a "rustic" look.)

2. Put olive oil and seasonings in a bowl; add bread crumbs and mix around/toss until the bread crumbs are coated with the mixture and mixture is evenly distributed on them.

Homemade Bread Crumbs from Loaf Bread

3. Spread them out on a cookie/baking sheet.....

Homemade Bread Crumbs from Loaf Bread

4. Bake in 300 degree oven for 30-50 minutes. Ok, so that's a wide range here, but it will vary based upon your oven, the bread, etc. I winged it, checking every so often and by the time the bread was toasted to my liking, it had been 50 minutes. You could cook them at a higher temperature but I opted for a lower one because I am prone to not catch things in time from burning when I cook at higher temps so the lower temperature worked out great.

And voile! Homemade croutons!

Homemade Bread Crumbs from Loaf BreadI was really happy with the results because when I made them years ago, I sautéed them first(according to recipes) before baking, but it was more work so when I saw that people were making them without that extra step, I was all over that.

Homemade Bread Crumbs from Loaf BreadYou could also put them in a ziploc bag after they are done and mash them or put them in a food processor and make homemade bread crumbs...versatile!