Homemade croutons should be a pantry staple. Here is my easy and scrumptious recipe, along with all the ways to serve these homemade bites.
One of my favorite memory smells growing up, is of my Daddy’s homemade croutons baking in the oven. He would take any kind of bread on the brink of stale that we had on hand, and turn it into delicious croutons. They’re so good, it almost feels like a luxury. And why not, really. Cubed bread drizzled with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and a savory herbed blend, and toasted until golden and OMG.
Mama would take these said croutons and add them to a salad, over the top of tomato soup, or even serve them in all their own glory in a silver bowl, just as cocktail bites. I caught her a couple times snacking on them while she was watching her “stories,” AKA: As The World Turns and Guiding Light.
Although her stories are off the air, she’s still snacking on these croutons just as fast as my Daddy can make them. It’s like they buy day-old bread or bagels just for the sake of croutons. Well, the apple doesn’t fall from the tree, because I’m here to tell you that I am no different. Rarely do we ever not have homemade croutons on hand. When the kids get off the bus and walk into the house, this amazing smell captures them immediately, and in a blink, the croutons are “helping” them through Trig. (Total side note here: I barely know how to spell trig, let alone help them with the subject).
Typically, croutons are baked coated in a good amount of olive oil and butter, salt and pepper. Daddy took it an extra step and added balsamic vinegar, along with some Herbs de Provence for the win. Epic, folks. Epic.
So I’ve taken his un-measured and all by-eye ingredients recipe, and adapted it into my own. Though following in Daddy’s footsteps and rarely measuring, I took time out to do so this time, just so I could share the recipe with you. Go into this as one of my more relaxed recipes, following the measurements the first time, then just go from there with your eye. No matter what you do or add, they’ll turn out good. It’s toasted bread cubes with added flavors for crying out loud. How can you go wrong?
Homemade Savory Croutons
- 6 bagels I use day-old bagels. I like how bagels crisp up and absorb the added flavors, the best.
- 1/3 cup Olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp Herbs de Provence
- 1 tbsp coarse salt
- 1/2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- Cut the bagels in half, then dice into 1/2 inch cubes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper.
- Add bread cubes to balsamic mixture and toss to coat thoroughly and evenly.
- Place bread cubes on baking sheet and bake in oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden and crispy.
- Let cool. Can be stored in an air tight container for up to a week.