Croutons are a wonderful addition to any salad or soup. My kids also like to eat croutons as a crunchy, munchy snack.
I do buy croutons occasionally, but I really like to make my own. Not only is it cheaper to make your own, but you can control the ingredients and the flavor. I make mine with real butter, but you could certainly use margarine, oil or extra virgin olive oil if you like.
I start by saving leftover or stale bread, buns, rolls and biscuits in the freezer or refrigerator. I have noticed that the heel ends of bread make wonderful croutons because the crust gets particularly crispy! You can also buy day-old bread for this purpose. Sometimes I buy an extra fresh loaf just for croutons.
4 C. Bread or Bread Scraps, cubed
4-6 T. Butter or Oil
1 t. Onion Powder
1 t. Parsley1/4 t Garlic Powder
Begin by cubing your bread or bread scraps and setting them aside. Melt about 1 to 2 Tablespoons of butter for each cup of cubed bread. Add seasonings to the melted butter and mix well.
In a large bowl, drizzle butter over cubed bread and toss well. Spread mixture in a sheet or jelly roll pan and bake at 425 for 10 to 15 minutes. Watch closely as they can burn easily. When they start to brown, remove from oven and mix to turn pieces over so they will brown evenly. Return pan to oven for an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Store in a tightly covered container or in a zip-top bag.