Home-made Croûtons

When I was growing up, the croûtons you got in a box or bag at the grocery store were tiny little cubes, about the size of dice. Only restaurants had those big “fancy” croûtons. Seeing a marketing opportunity, the manufacturers switched to a large size, which is all you can find in the grocery store now.

The problem is that store-bought croûtons have always been pretty crunchy. This wasn’t a problem when they were small, but the big ones are getting so they aren’t even good on salad any more. The solution, of course, is to make your own.


1/2 loaf stale un-sliced bread
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Slice the bread about 3/4-inch thick and trim off the crust.

Cut the slices into cubes, as big across as they are thick.

Note that I’ve saved the crust and crumbs. This goes into a zip-top bag in the freezer. When I’m making hamburgers or meatballs, the bag gets dumped in the food processor for a couple of seconds to make bread crumbs.

Now melt half the butter over medium heat in a large pot or frying pan.

Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and whatever seasonings you want. Here I’m using minced garlic.

Add the cubed bread and toss to coat. It will quickly soak up all the butter and olive oil. Add more butter and oil a little at a time, making sure all the cubes get a good coating.

Spread the cubes out on a baking pan.

Bake at 400° for about 10 minutes, turning the cubes once with tongs at about 8 minutes. Remove when they are golden all the way around.