Ollie's Herbed Croutons

I don't like store-bought croutons. For the most part they are hard little chunks of toasted bread. I like my croutons crisp (not hard) on the outside with a semi-soft center. I like them large. Having hunted for years to find just the right croutons to suit me, I gave up and started making my own. These last for a month or more when stored in an air-tight container.

Ollie's Herbed Croutons
Use one loaf of thick white bread - you can use sourdough or any other kind you like but I use white. You can use ordinary bread or specialty breads such as a French loaf. It's your choice!

In a small measuring cup or custard dish, put 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste (I often omit the salt and pepper as the salad I'm going to use the croutons on is salty enough), 2 tsp. fine herbes.

Preheat oven to 350'

Put the bread slices on a large cutting board and with a pastry brush, brush the olive oil mixture on one side. Then using a serated knife, cut the oiled bread slices into chunks - whatever size you prefer. (If you have trouble cutting the bread once it's oiled, just leave the slices whole until they are baked, then cut them) Put the oiled bread cubes on a non-greased cookie sheet (oiled side up) and bake in the over for 10-20 minutes.

I like my croutons lightly browned, not too dark so I have to watch carefully and remove them at just the right moment.

Let the croutons cool completely before storing them or they will go soggy. These are wonderful served on caesar salad!


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