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Technique of the Week: Seasoned Croutons


In an effort to be open and honest, I want to share a recipe fail and what I did to redeem it.  For the July edition of Bake Your Own Bread, I decided to not wait until the end of the month (crazy, right?) and I made some whole wheat sandwich bread a couple weeks ago.  It was going really well until the second rise . . . Needless to say, I had two lovely-smelling loaves of squat, dense bread.  Boooo.


After all the effort, I really didn’t want to throw out the bread, so I did something I usually do with leftover bread: I made croutons.  If you have never made your own croutons, you really ought to.  It’s really, really easy and you can make croutons that taste so much better than the ones you buy in a foil zipper bag in the produce section from the grocer.  To be honest, sometimes I just buy a loaf of good bread with the express purpose of making croutons and I leave it out for a couple days so it gets stale.

I typed up the recipe so it’s here for a reference and you can download it as always.  But basically, all you need to do is take some bread cubes and toss with oil (or melted butter or bacon fat) and spices and bake until crispy.  My favorite thing to do is use Penzey’s Spices Pizza Seasoning blend or their Country French Vinaigrette blend because the spices are already perfectly mixed for me.

So it’s back to the drawing board with the whole wheat sandwich bread and while I work on that, I’ll be having another salad topped with tasty croutons.  I guess the failed bread worked out pretty well for me after all.

DIY Seasoned Croutons

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 cups

DIY Seasoned Croutons


  • 6 cups bread cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • 2. Prepare the bread by slicing both lengthwise and crosswise into cubes. Leave the crusts on and make cubs 1 inch square or smaller.
  • 3. In a small bowl mix together red pepper flakes, garlic, black pepper, and salt. Measure oregano and basil into your palm and rub the spices between your palms into the bowl to release the oils. Mix again to combine.
  • 4. Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with half the olive oil and half the spice mixture. Toss the bread a couple times to coat, or use a spatula to mix. Drizzle the remaining oil over the bread and add the remaining spices and toss again, making sure all pieces are evenly coated.
  • 5. Pour bread cubes onto a large baking tray and spread into an even layer. Make sure to scrape oil and spices from the bottom of the bowl onto the bread cubes.
  • 6. Place the baking tray in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir the croutons, then return to the oven for 15 minutes longer.
  • 7. Let croutons cool on the baking tray and store in an airtight container once cooled.


Use stale bread if possible, or leave out the bread you plan to use overnight to dry. Substitute all spices for any Italian-style spice blend like Penzey’s Pizza Seasoning




What do you do with failed recipes or projects?  Toss it and start anew or keep going until you have something that works?



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