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how to make homemade croutonsI’m dropping by Main St. today to share a little homemade crouton technique.

You’re probably getting ready to start  your weekend and making croutons may not be on your to-do list, but in case you plan some time in the kitchen, this quick how-to may come in handy.

Seeing as how our weather has dropped below 90 and the humidity is gone (at least until next May…yippee!), that must mean soup season is in full effect.

Topping off a bowl of homemade soup with croutons would be so wonderful.

They work especially well on this type of soup or this one that I shared earlier this week.

And, they’re so easy to make.

A big bonus to your crouton making is that you get to use up bread that has taken up residence in your pantry and  is still usable, but may be a little past its sandwich-making prime.

I might go so far as to say that making homemade croutons will save you money.

Money that you could use for those fun, suede booties you were thinking of getting.

I love it when things work out.

Let’s get started on these simple, rustic homemade croutons.

using olive oil to make croutons

Tear up about 5 slices of day-old bread (no need to remove the crust) and scatter onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Add 1 1/2 tbsp of good quality olive oil to the center of the baking sheet.

adding olive oil to baking sheetI moved some of the torn up bread out of the center of the baking sheet to create a little spot for the olive oil.

making homemade croutonsSimply use your hands to toss the torn up bread in the olive oil and ensuring that each little piece of bread has some of the olive oil on it.

add dried thyme to homemade croutonsI added a scant 1/2 tsp of dried thyme  and several pinches of kosher salt to the coated bread and then tossed them to combine.

how to make homemade croutonsNow you are ready to place the pan into a 375 degree preheated oven.

how to make homemade croutonsThe croutons took 8 minutes in the oven to turn golden and become crispy.  I would advise checking them after 5 minutes since it will depend on the size of the torn bread.

how to make homemade croutonsHere is a finished crouton.  The edges are golden and the bread has crisped up.  At this point, I sampled 2 or 3.  Or was it 5 or 6?

making homemade croutonsI had enough croutons to top six bowls of soup and few for pre-dinner sampling.  If you have leftover croutons, wait until they’ve cooled completely and then store them in an airtight container.  They should keep for 2-3 days.

Rustic Homemade Croutons

Ingredients

5-6 slices of day-old bread (I used a 3-cheese bread from the local bakery)

about 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp dried thyme

kosher salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Tear bread into small bite-sized pieces and place on a rimmed baking sheet.  Add olive oil to the center of the baking sheet and toss the bread in the oil so that each piece is lightly coated.  Add dried thyme and kosher salt and toss to combine.  Bake in oven for 5 minutes, checking to ensure that they are turning golden.  Bake an additional 3 minutes depending on how dark you would like the finished crouton.

Store any unused croutons after they have cooled completely in an airtight container.

Yield: about 2 cups

Allison

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