Time for some honesty. Today was not my day. Everyone has to have a day like that once in a while. Well, I picked the short straw and today was my day. Not like anything horrible happened. Just nothing stellar. Kind of meh.
So I’m going to my happy place, which involves listening to this while I imagine I’m smelling this wafting through the air, eating one of these and waiting in line to ride this. So good . . . if only.
But before I call this day quits, I have to tell you about these croutons. I started making my own croutons a few years ago and haven’t bought a stale store-bought box since. I used to cut my croutons into neat little cubes, then I made these, loved them, and decided on a more “rustic” crouton from then on.
Croutons are the best solution to any day-old bread problem you have: sourdough, bolillo, brioche, challah, Wonder, ciabatta, focaccia (super fancy and so tasty as croutons!), and almost any other kind of carb-y bread goodness you can think of. All work and all make good croutons.
The sea salt and cracked black pepper are just as easy – you always have them on hand, and they make croutons that will taste great with any kind of salad (or soup) you want to put them in. These remind me of my favorite flavor of Lays kettle chips. I don’t eat chips often, but if those are an option, I’m all in. Much like these croutons. So tasty, so easy, so sooo much better than what you can get out of a box.
Sea Salt and Cracked Black Pepper Croutons
- 4 heaping cups torn bread, day-old works the best
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- pinch garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Add the torn bread to a baking sheet. In a small bowl mix the oil, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss the bread with the butter mixture right on the baking sheet - no need to get a bowl dirty. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the bread.
Bake for 7 minutes, give the croutons a good stir and bake for another 3-5 minutes. The croutons are done once the crust-less pieces are mostly dried out but still have a slight give. They will continue to dry out more as they cool, and you don't want croutons that are super hard, so try not to overbake them.