Homemade Parmesan Croutons
Yield: 4-6 servings (3 scant cups)
These flavor-packed bites offer a practical way to make use of leftover bread, from baguettes to sturdy sandwich bread, with an excellent gluten-free option. The recipe can easily be doubled. Just make sure the croutons are spread in a single layer on the baking sheet, using a second sheet if needed.


Ingredients

  • 4 ounces sturdy bread like French, sourdough or GF white bread (about 4 cups once cubed)*
  • ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pinch (1/16 teaspoon) cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Slice the bread into ½-inch cubes (I use the crust, too) and place in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the Italian seasoning, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, salt and cayenne pepper.
  4. Drizzle the olive oil over the bread cubes, and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and the spice mixture, and gently toss again to coat. Place the bread cubes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Toss the croutons and bake 15 minutes more. At this point, the croutons will likely be golden and thoroughly crisp. If the croutons are not thoroughly dried out, you may stir and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Or turn off the oven and allow the bread to finish crisping in the residual heat of the oven.
  6. Once cooled, store the croutons in an airtight container. Serve over soup, salads, casseroles-or enjoy as a crunchy snack! The croutons will maintain freshness for at least a week.

Notes

*Four ounces of bread is half a French baguette, about 4 slices of classic Pepperidge Farm bread or 4-5 slices of a gluten-free option such as Udi’s or Canyon Bakehouse. Sourdough and ciabatta are good options, too. I usually leave the crusts on, but you may remove if preferred. Simply measure or weigh after doing so.


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