Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Homemade Garlic Croutons

Whenever we buy a loaf of French/Italian bread, it seems we can never go through it all in one day.   Those things are huge!  So from now on, when I have leftover bread like that, I'm making these croutons!  I've tried a few crouton recipes in the past, but prefer this one because it uses a mix of olive oil and butter, instead of just butter.  The just-butter ones are good, but almost too heavy-tasting.  I cut down on the olive oil in this recipe, too. 

These were so good that the kids kept sneaking them before many of them made it to the table.  They also make foods like soup and salad more fun to eat for kids (and adults).  We had these croutons with Garden-Fresh Tomato and Basil Soup and salad with this dressing.  These croutons can apparently be stored in an air-tight container at room temp for a while, but my kids ate all of these up the same day I made them.  Don't let that leftover french bread go to waste- make these croutons! 

Another thing that's nice about these- you need stale bread for these!  So not only can you use up leftover bread, but leftover stale bread.  Yay!  I had used 1/2 of my loaf for something the previous day and was too tired to do anything else with it, so the next day I made these croutons.  After we ate dinner, I actually whipped up another batch to have on hand for the next day because they were so popular. 

Homemade Garlic Croutons

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 fresh garlic clove, minced
garlic powder, to taste
8-10 thick slices stale French bread, cut into 1/2"-3/4" cubes

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover a large baking sheet with foil.
2.  In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, melted butter, fresh minced garlic, & garlic powder.
3.  Add bread cubes and toss to coat thoroughly.  (A larege rubber or silicone spatula works well for this).
4.  Spread on prepared baking sheet.
5.  Bake at 350°F for about 10-20 minutes, or until lightly browned & toasted.
6.  Cool completely on paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Store in airtight container until ready for use.
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