Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Homemade Croutons from Frozen Stale Bread {Vegan}

I've been making a lot of new breads lately, thanks to our Get Real challenge. One of our favorites has been Musing's of a Housewife's adaptation of Honey Whole Wheat Bread (using melted coconut oil instead of shortening) from Betty Crocker. But, I've had some epic failures on bread, too. The recipes aren't terrible or anything, it's just that I either make a novice bread baker mistake, or the flavor just doesn't suit our family. So, we've had a lot of bread that I've been repurposing lately. And you can only make so many bread crumbs! I've made croutons in the past, but not consistently. I think this recipe has made me a consistent crouton-baker, because it's so incredibly simple and versatile. The first step is tossing any bread you don't care for, bread that's stale or can't get through before it goes bad into your freezer, sliced. Then when you're ready to make croutons, pop it out and thaw it on the counter for a few hours for this recipe. If you're not a baker, this also works great with free day-old bread from bakeries and sandwich shops.

Homemade Croutons
Adapted from How to Make Croutons from Frozen Stale Bread.
  • Frozen bread, sliced
  • olive oil
  • The Husband's Homemade French Fry seasoning mix:
    • 2 parts onion powder
    • 2 parts garlic powder 
    • 1 part salt
    • 1 part pepper
  • Italian seasoning
Thaw stale, frozen bread slices on the counter for about 3 hours. Preheat oven to 350.

Place sliced bread on a cookie sheet and coat both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle desired amount of French Fry seasoning and Italian seasoning (or whatever seasonings you like) on both sides and then cut bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until crunchy.

The Results
These are fantastic! I made my first batch a little large (mainly because Bug was helping and I wasn't feeling like having the big knife out long enough to make them smaller). But I've made more appropriately-sized croutons since. I like them both. They're so much better than the hard-as-a-rock store-bought variety. And the beauty of being able to change the seasonings however we like is awesome. The kids also like to eat them as snacks.

This post is shared with Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesdays, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's on Your Plate?, Let's Do Brunch, Works for me Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked and Bake with Bizzy.

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