Stock Your Freezer: Homemade Croutons
Another idea for stocking your freezer: homemade croutons.
Croutons are great to top salads and soups. And making them yourself saves a lot of money and packaging. Instead of shelling out for those crouts in the store, save your leftover bread odds and ends and make your own. It’s quick and easy, and you have total control over the flavor.
Every time you have leftover bread, toss it in the freezer. Save sandwich bread, hamburger and hot dog buns, even naan. When you have enough leftovers and time, get them all out of the freezer and make your croutons. Then freeze the crouts for future deliciousness!
Use dry, leftover bread, but not stale bread. Freeze your leftovers before the bread gets stale.
You can use seasoned bread such as rosemary or tomato bread, but be aware that any flavorings in the bread will flavor your croutons, too. I personally like the flavors, but sometimes they will clash with a delicate salad dressing or soup.
Season your croutons any way you like. A simple combo of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt will do nicely, but you can also use Iron Chicken Kitchen Bread-Dipping Herbs & Spices or Italian Seasoning Mix.
- leftover bread odds and ends dry but not stale
- 1-3 tbsp olive oil
- seasoning such as garlic powder, salt, pepper or Iron Chicken Kitchen spice mixes
- Save leftover odds and ends of bread products in the freezer; don't let them get stale.
- When you've accumulated a baking sheet full or more, gather all the odds and ends of bread.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes. It's easier to cut the cubes if the bread is still somewhat frozen.
- Place the cubes in a large mixing bowl.
- Drizzle olive oil over cubes and sprinkle seasoning over top. Seasoning is up to you: salt, pepper, garlic powder, Iron Chicken Kitchen Bread-Dipping Herbs & Spices or Italian Seasoning do nicely. Whatever strikes your fancy!
- Toss the cubes to distribute the oil and seasoning evenly.
- Spread the cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Place in oven and toast for 7 or 8 minutes. Watch closely so the croutons do not burn.
- Stir the cubes on the baking sheet so they toast on all sides.
- Toast for another 7 or 8 minutes or until croutons are golden brown and crunchy. Don't over-bake or burn. Again, watch closely!
- Remove baking sheet from oven and allow croutons to cool completely.
- Use on salads or soups or anything you like. Freeze croutons in zip bag or freezer container. They'll keep a few months in the freezer. By the time you use them, you'll have saved enough bread odds and ends to do another batch!