A crouton is a piece of sautéed or rebaked bread, often cubed and seasoned, that is used to add texture and flavor to salads, notably the Caesar salad, as an accompaniment to soups, or eaten as a snack food. The word crouton is derived from the French croûton, itself derived from croûte, meaning "crust". Most people consider croutons to come invariably in the shape of small cubes, but they can actually be of any size, up to a very large slice.
- Prep Time : 10 minutes
- Cook Time : 55 minutes
- Yield : 16 servings
- firm white or whole-grain bread - 10 slices
- butter, melted* - ½ cup
1 1 Heat oven to 300°F. Cut bread slices into ½-inch cubes. Spread in single layer in 15x10x1-inch pan. Drizzle butter evenly over bread cubes; toss to coat.
2. 2 Bake 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until golden brown, dry and crisp. Cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature up to 2 days.
*Olive oil can be substituted. After drizzling bread cubes with oil, sprinkle evenly with ½ teaspoon salt; toss to coat.
Add 3 cloves garlic, very finely chopped, or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder to butter before drizzling over bread cubes.
Drizzle bread cubes with olive oil instead of butter. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning and ½ teaspoon salt; toss to coat.
PUMPERNICKEL OR RYE CROUTONS
Substitute pumpernickel or rye bread. Bake as directed or until pumpernickel cubes are dry and crisp and rye cubes are light golden brown, dry and crisp.