This may seem silly, but I have to confess that I've had croutons on my brain for the past week. Josh and I stayed in on Valentine's Day and I cooked him a surf-and-turf steakhouse style dinner. And for me the highlight was the Caesar salad with homemade croutons.
There's something about bread baked to a crisp in garlicky butter . . .
I considered buying croutons for the salad but store-bought croutons are never impressive and they cost a couple bucks. I knew that I could pick up a loaf of day old french bread for a buck and make something better.
I like to lightly crush the cloves and simmer them whole in the butter, instead of mincing them up to toss with the bread. I find that small garlic pieces often get black and burnt before the bread crisps up, so infusing the butter with the garlic flavor works much better.
You should bake them for about 15 minutes if you like a bit of chew in the middle, but if you like them completely crunchy than bake them for closer to 20 minutes.
If you have any extra, they freeze really well and only take a couple of minutes to thaw.
Garlic Butter Croutons
- 1 loaf of french bread
- 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
- 2-3 garlic cloves, lightly crushed (not minced)
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Slice the bread into large, 1-inch cubes.
- Melt the butter over medium-low heat.
- Add the crushed garlic cloves to the melted butter and gently simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Discard the garlic.
- Toss the bread cubes and butter in a large bowl until completely combined.
- Spread the bread on a large cookie sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes. Tossing them half way through.