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Learn how to make croutons at home with our simple recipe, method and top tips. These will make crunchy toppings for soups, salads and warming pasta bakes
Try different flavour ideas and our favourite recipes in our guide on how to make croutons.
Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Rub the whole garlic clove over both sides of the bread. Tear it into rough chunks and toss with the oil, a good pinch of salt and the seeds.
Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 mins until golden and crisp. Mix with the chopped parsley. Sprinkle on soup or a salad for added crunch.
Croutons are small pieces of crunchy bread made by oven-drying, toasting or frying stale bread. They can be added to soups, salads or stews for added crunch and texture. They can come in many forms – sometimes very hard, dried-out pieces that partially rehydrate when scattered over soups or into salad dressing, or finer shards that have been toasted until lightly crunchy and are used warm over dishes.
Most croutons are made from wheat bread that’s past its best (often a few days old) and has to be toasted to be eaten. It’s a great way of using up crusts of bread and giving them a second life rather than wasting them, but you can make croutons out of any bread-based products, like baguettes, brioche, focaccia, bagels and more. Sourdough works well as it has a good flavour and has a lighter, larger crumb than sandwich bread – it lends itself to being toasted.
Size and shape
Olive oil vs butter better?
Depending on how dry and crisp your croutons are, they will last for up to a week in an airtight container, but will be at their best for the first two days. You can refresh them in the oven for a few minutes to crisp up again if you like.
Croutons don’t freeze very well as they won’t retain their crunch when defrosted, but you can freeze small pieces of leftover bread to make croutons another time. Add torn pieces or cubes of bread to a sandwich bag or container in the freezer. Keep adding to the container if you have a few heels of bread to use before you make croutons. Defrost for a few hours at room temperature, then toss in the oil and bake as normal. This is a great way of preventing waste or using up the last of the bread if you have some having around, but not enough to use straightaway.
Check out our guide on how to make croutons for serving suggestions, flavouring ideas and even more delicious recipes.