Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Home Made Croutons

I've been making my own croutons for a while now for several reasons. (Wow, this sounds like the beginning of every essay I wrote in grade school.)

1. I have an excess of bread due to overpurchasing at the Companion factory. (It's a sickness and I can't and won't help it.)
2. Having looked at the ingredients in a bag of croutons, I have decided that I'm not really interested in eating all those chemicals.
3. (Kind of tied to #2) I don't find a lot of value in a bag of crouton. They are way overpriced for what they are.
4. They are really simple to make.

Home Made Croutons
left over bread
olive oil (a couple tablespoons, it really depends on how much bread you are using)
Italian seasoning (see olive oil)
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take whatever left over bread you have and cut it into crouton sized pieces.
Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with Italian seasoning and pepper. I have a couple of different brands of Italian seasoning that I like to use. Manzo's (http://www.manzoimporting.com/newmanzoimporting/Welcome.html) makes a great bread dipping spice that I like to use, but it's a little on the garlicky/salty side, so I cut it with Penzey's Tuscan Sunset (http://www.penzeys.com/cgi-bin/penzeys/p-penzeystuscan.html). I find a mix works for me. Both spices are a blend of basil, oregano, garlic, red pepper and some other stuff. Add spices with a gentle hand; they are easy to overspice.

I bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, stir and bake again for another 10. Once they are crispy, they are done. I let them cool then place in a resealable plastic container for future use. They are so much more delicious than the store bought croutons.

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