How to Make the BEST Croutons...(Have a Homemade Bread Fail? Here's Your Solution)
STOP!!! Don't get rid of that homemade bread that didn't quite turn out! If your homemade bread turned out a little too dense, or not big enough, or maybe it's too dry....here's how you can turn that mistake into some yummy croutons! This article is all about how to make perfect croutons from a bad bread mistake. Enjoy!
I am on a sour dough homemade bread making kick right now. Usually I can figure something out pretty quickly....but sour dough bread really has me stumped. I have made my own starter with wild yeasts, and it's great! I have used it to create some really great treats like biscuits, crackers, and pancakes, too. But....a loaf of real sour dough bread? Time after time, my sour dough loaves end up too dense, and although they rise a little, it's just not enough.
Now some people (like Mr. V.) loves dense homemade bread, but I am searching for the Holy Grail of fluffy, puffy sour dough bread. After this last try (my fifth, all together), I decided I had to do something with the extra that Mr. V. didn't end up eating. I've also given the extras to the chickens before, but this time, I wanted to try a different way to make good on my bread mistake....so I decided to make croutons.
Holy Moly!! Those croutons were unbelievable! This sour dough bread fail turned into a crouton success story! I'm really excited to share this simple recipe for croutons with you because, well, they're just delicious!
FTC Disclosure: There are affiliate links in scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you.--Thank you, Heidi
Here's How to Make Perfect Croutons--
Step 1: Cube
Slice your bread into roughly one inch cubes.
Step 2: Dry
Allow them to air dry for a few hours, turning them occasionally so all sides will be exposed to the air.
Alternatively, you could set them in a warm oven on the lowest setting for a little while, I'd guess about 20-30 minutes.
Step 3: Fry/Sautee'
I put those dried cubes of sour dough goodness in my cast iron pan with some butter and spices (I used salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes, but you could mix it up with lemon and garlic, onion powder, just leave them plain---or do what I do: Experiment with your favorite tastes!
Then, simply saute' them for a few minutes, allowing the butter to soak into the bread well, and let those spices cover them up. They'll end up being perfectly toasted and delicious.
Step 4: Store and Use
You can store these in a Mason jar (my choice) or any other container you prefer. Mine were gone within a day, so I don't know how long they'd last exactly, but I would guesstimate about a week or so.
Final Thoughts on Homemade Croutons
You know what? It's almost worth turning out a bad loaf of bread in order to get these delicious morsels of goodness. These croutons are seriously the best I've ever tasted.
I stopped buying store bought croutons years ago because they are filled with chemicals, fillers, and unnatural flavorings, hidden sugars, etc. We've used other crunchy things on our salads instead, like nuts, organic crackers, etc.
So...for me, having REAL croutons that were completely homemade from scratch that were FAR more delicious and healthy than store-bought was an incredible treat!
Do you make your own croutons? I just kind of did this on the spur of the moment, and I'm so glad I did! If you're a person who also makes your own and you have ideas to add...please leave a comment!
I'm so happy to add one more thing to my list of DIY skills. Small as making homemade croutons seems, every little thing you learn just adds to your repertoire of knowledge and empowerment.
If you're interested in traditional cooking skills, I hope you'll consider visiting Wardeh Harmon's Traditional Cooking School. (That link will take you to some free cooking videos.) Melissa K. Norris also has a great online course called The Handmade Master Class, with traditional skills of various kinds. And if you are interested in learning about using herbs for your health, I just love the Herbal Academy of New England!
Hugs & Self-Reliance,
P.S. I hope you'll sign up for our weekly newsletter! It's completely free, and it contains tips and tricks not found on the blog, plus you'll never miss a thing. I'll be sending you some helpful eBooks too! One is on using herbs to relax, my favorite essential oil blends, and finally, how to get your homestead started no matter where you live. I hope you'll join our community!