Adapted from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat
Yield: 8 cups
1 lb loaf of day old bread (or enough scraps saved over time to equal 1lb)
⅓ cup olive oil
- If using oven, preheat to 400 degrees.
- Cut the bread into 1 inch thick slices (if not already pre-sliced) then cut each slice into inch-wide strips (you can stack and cut several slices at a time). Over a large bowl, tear each trip into inch size pieces.
- Toss bread with olive oil and to coat them evenly.
- Spread out on a single layer on a baking sheet (using multiple if needed to prevent overcrowding which will trap steam and prevent the croutons from browning.)
- Toast croutons for about 18-22 minutes. At 8 minutes, rotate the pans and flip the croutons to brown evenly (the outer ones will brown faster than the inner).
- Once they begin to brown they will finish quickly. Check on them often and remove any that are done while the others finish.
- Croutons are done when they are golden brown and crunchy on the outside, with a tiny bit of chew on the inside.
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Toast seasoned croutons until lightly browned and crisp (in batches if needed to prevent overcrowding which will trap steam and prevent the croutons from browning.) Stir occasionally.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with a light sprinkling of salt if needed. Let them cool, then use immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 2 days, or freeze for several weeks. To refresh stale croutons, bake for 3-4 minutes at 400 degrees.