Creative croutons

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Creative croutons | Easy Food

The bread
The type of bread used to make croutons doesn’t matter as long as it is stale. If you’re planning ahead, cut the bread into cubes before it is completely hard and spread into an even layer on a baking tray to finish drying out.

The size
Croutons can be any size or shape you want: large, small or flat croutons all work well. The only thing to remember is that the toasting process will work best if all the croutons are the same size and shape. Whether or not you cut the crusts off your croutons is a matter of preference.

The fat
Either butter or olive oil is ideal, or use a mixture of both. Butter does burn more easily than olive oil, so you’ll need to keep a close watch if using it for the stovetop method (see below).

The method
Our favourite ways to make croutons are in the oven, which is hands-off, or on the stovetop, which is quicker and uses less energy. Both methods are given here.

Homemade croutons
Serves 4-6
4 tbsp olive oil or melted butter (or a mixture)
200g slightly stale bread, cubed, torn or sliced
Salt
For oven-baked croutons:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5.
  2. Pour half of the oil or butter onto a large rimmed baking tray. Spread the bread on the tray in a single layer and drizzle with the remaining fat. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and toss to coat. Spread the croutons out on the tray so that they are no longer touching.
  3. Place in the oven and bake for five minutes. Carefully toss the croutons, then bake for another five minutes. Depending on the size of the croutons, they may need another few minutes; just keep checking until they are golden brown and crisp.
  4. Remove the croutons from the oven. Add extra salt if necessary and allow to cool.
  5. Use immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

For stovetop croutons:

  1. Heat the oil or butter in a large pan over a medium-high heat.
  2. Add the bread cubes to the pan and sprinkle with one teaspoon of salt. Toss to coat and spread out into a single layer.
  3. Toast the bread for about five minutes, tossing every minute or so, until the bread cubes are golden-brown on all sides.
  4. Remove the croutons from the pan. Add extra salt if necessary and allow to cool on a baking tray.
  5. Use immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.

Per Serving 172kcals, 9.3g fat (3.4g saturated), 18.8g carbs, 0.9g sugars, 4g protein, 0.8g fibre, 0.273g sodium

Variations
For garlic croutons, finely grate one clove of garlic using a microplane straight into the olive oil or melted butter a few minutes before using.
For herby croutons, sprinkle on dried herbs when adding the salt or add chopped fresh herbs halfway through baking or frying.
For cheesy croutons, add some grated cheese halfway through baking or frying.

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