Olive oil and garlic homemade croutons are delicate and delicious–no need to break your teeth on store bought bricks. Season these classics with any flavors you enjoy and make your next soup or salad even more delicious!Jump to Recipe
What bread makes the best croutons?
I find that the best homemade croutons are made with a bread that has a little bit of flavor to start out and that’s a bit firm. I love focaccia or ciabatta for croutons. If it’s a little stale that’s even better.
I don’t love those big super fluffy flavorless french bread loaves you get at Walmart hanging on a rack. Try to steer clear of those.
How to flavor homemade croutons
Because these croutons get baked at a decently high heat, you want to be careful adding fresh garlic or herbs. They are going to burn in the time it takes to get the bread toasted properly. That’s why I’m using garlic powder and not fresh here.
If you want add herbs or garlic, do it at the end when the bread is still warm or you can take a clove of garlic and rub it over the bread before you cut up the cubes–just for some subtle flavor.
How to make croutons step by step
Step 1: Cut up any firm french bread, sourdough, or focaccia of your choice. We are using my sourdough focaccia here. Cut strips of bread no thicker than 1″ then cut the strips into pieces about the same as the thickness. Don’t make your croutons too big to fit in your mouth. It can be easy to over estimate their size.
Step 2: Transfer to a cookie sheet and season. Drizzle with good olive oil, salt and garlic powder or any additional flavors you want to add and toss to coat. Bake at 400 until just turning golden, tossing the bread occasionally for even color. Remember your bread will get more crispy as it cools so don’t over bake them or they will be too hard later.
Cool slightly or serve warm in your favorite dishes. You can store your croutons in an air tight container on the counter for up to one day. They may need a slight warming in the oven to re-crisp them before using.
Other flavors you might like:
- Parmesan cheese (grate it over before baking but don’t use the powdered stuff)
- Chili flakes for a little heat
- Bacon (drizzle the bread with a bit of bacon drippings before baking)
- Rosemary or thyme (dried if you want to bake with them on the bread) or tossed in fresh at the end
Recipes to use with croutons
Olive oil and garlic homemade croutons
- Preheat the oven to 400
- Transfer cut bread cubes to a 9×13 rimmed baking tray.
- Drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, and salt and toss to coat. Spread the bread out in an even layer.
- Bake on the center rack, tossing cubes twice during cooking until edges are just golden. About 12 to 15 minutes. Just keep an eye on yours.
- Serve croutons warm if desired or cool to room temperature. Store in an air tight container for up to one day and re-heat in the oven to crisp again if needed.