These can be used with soups or salads. Very easy, very popular, perhaps not very healthy (bread and butter?)
So – what you need is
- some white or wholewheat bread – can be fresh, better if a bit stale; it can be the toasting kind, but usually better if a dense french baguette or even sourdough.
- some butter, could be mashed with garlic and/or other herbs of choice, and
- the oven.
For basic edition i will
- set the oven to some 180C/35oF
- slice the bread (here it is a baguette) – if not already sliced
- butter slices of bread, not very carefully
- when convenient (e.g. with a loaf of toasting bread) i stack them. Otherwise, each slice separately, i cut through all the slices into horizontal sticks using a sharp large knife; then cut the stick vertically – to create an untidy hill of cubic pieces, aiming at 1x1x1 cm in size. They are somewhat messy, as butter is on some and not on others, but it is ok., it will all work out. They are also often squashed together, also will separate in the roasting stage.
- I place the bread on a flat baking sheet, possibly large, so that the bread has enough room to roast almost in a single layer
- place the whole thing in the centre of the oven
- note the time
- every 10 min or so i open the oven and try to mix and turn the pieces upside down (wide wooden spatula very useful here)
- give it some 25-30 minutes, to produce evenly brownish, crunchy, separated croutons
When ready, let them cool down a bit before using. If storing, use a watertight, well closed vessel. They store well and can be re-heated, if such is preference.
If desired, they can be flavoured by garlic (mixed with the butter i step 2), anchovies (the same) or some herb – these i would apply at the very end, while cooling..
If creating the slice-size croutons (some recipes recommend this size and shape) i would slice the bread accordingly and follow the rest of the process without basic changes. Will be glad to hear your comments.