stale bread = homemade croutons!

My husband and I love to buy fresh baguettes on Saturdays, but we rarely finish them before they go stale.  Here’s what we have leftover this weekend:

Semifreddi's makes the best baguettes in the Bay Area!

What to do when life gives you stale bread?  Make croutons!  It’s easy to make croutons, and this method can be used for any variety of bread.

First, cut the bread into cubes:

Then, transfer the bread cubes to a baking pan.  Drizzle the bread with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and your choice of herbs.  (Today, I used Herbes de Provence.  Also good: leftover ciabatta with Italian seasoning and garlic powder; leftover pumpernickel or rye bread with caraway seeds; country bread with dried thyme and freshly grated parmesan.)

Toss to coat the bread cubes evenly with the oil and seasonings:

Pop the bread cubes in the oven and set it for 350 degrees.  It’s okay if the oven isn’t preheated because the croutons need only a few minutes to bake.  Set a timer for five minutes and then start checking the croutons.  As soon as the edges brown, take the croutons out–you don’t want the croutons to be too crunchy!

Here’s how mine turned out:

Allow the croutons to cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container (if they last that long!).  Warm, crunchy croutons are a great snack by themselves, but, of course, you can keep them for up to two days to use as croutons for salads and soups.

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