How To Make Toasted Croutons

how to make toasted croutons
Photo © Danilo Alfaro
  • 01 of 06

    Diagonally Slice a Day-Old Baguette

    Diagonally Slice a Day-Old Baguette
    Diagonally Slice a Day-Old Baguette. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    An ordinary crusty French baguette will do fine. And it doesn't have to be day-old, either — although to a crust-head (an affectionate term for a baker), making croutons out of a fresh baguette might seem a bit decadent.

    Begin by preheating your oven to 400°F.

    Using a serrated bread knife, cut the bread into slices that are between ¼ inch and ½ inch thick. Instead of slicing straight across the baguette, make the slices diagonal — which is called a bias cut. This kind of cut gives the slices a...MORE more elliptical shape and lets you control how long the croutons will be.​

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  • 02 of 06

    Arrange Slices On Baking Sheet

    Arrange Slices On Baking Sheet
    Arrange Slices On Baking Sheet. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    I'll usually line a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat. The baking mat keeps food from sticking to the sheet pans and makes the pans easy to clean. Not so much an issue when you're making croutons, but it's an absolute necessity when baking fish or other delicate items that might stick to the pan.​

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  • 03 of 06

    Drizzle With Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Drizzle With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    Drizzle With Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    Give each slice a decent splash — not a drenching, though.

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  • 04 of 06

    Sprinkle With Kosher Salt

    Sprinkle With Kosher Salt
    Sprinkle With Kosher Salt. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    Feel free to salt generously — any salt that doesn't stick to the olive oil will probably fall off at some point.

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  • 05 of 06

    Bake About Ten Minutes

    Bake About Ten Minutes
    Bake About Ten Minutes. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    Ten minutes is a rough approximation, because oven temperatures and other variables can, well, vary. So keep a close watch. The croutons are done when they're slightly golden brown — but not too dark!

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  • 06 of 06

    Serve With a Bowl of Soup Underneath

    Serve With a Bowl of Soup Underneath
    Serve With a Bowl of Soup Underneath. Photo © Danilo Alfaro

    Gently float a crouton on the surface of a bowl of soup right before serving.​

    Variations:

    • Sprinkle some grated cheese onto the croutons before baking.
    • Some chopped fresh herbs are also nice — but only add them after the croutons have baked most of the way so that the herbs don't burn.
    • These croutons are great with dips, and they make perfect bottoms for hors d'oeuvres and canapés.

    Croutons can be stored in an airtight container, unrefrigerated, for about 3 days.