Making home-made croutons is easy and results in unimaginable flavor if you’ve only tried commercially prepared croutons.  Stale French Bread and fresh garlic are your two main staples for crouton creations.  A special favorite is French Bread with sesame seeds on the crust:  the seeds add an extra dimension of flavor, and nutrition . . .
Freshly baked croutons!

4-6 slices stale French Bread

2-3 large garlic cloves

herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil

French Bread with sesame seeds
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When the bread is a day or two old, cut it into 1” slices and allow it to dry on a wire rack for a few hours, until the surface of the bread is hard and rough. (The more you love garlic, the rougher the bread's surface needs to be.)
Peel garlic cloves and rub against the bread on both sides.  Rub fresh or dried herbs over the slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper (olive oil optional).  Another option is to use olive oil that has been flavored with fresh herbs and/or citrus zest; drizzle the flavored oil over the bread after rubbing with garlic.
Fresh Croutons

Using a bread knife, cube the slices into approximately 1” croutons.  Place the bread cubes on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven at 325° F for 10 – 20 minutes, shaking the pan a few times to toast on all sides. When the bread is toasted a light golden color, remove and allow to cool for salads or serve warm in soups.

These croutons will keep in a paper bag or cardboard box for a few days--if they last that long!


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