Make your own homemade croutons, on the stovetop, toasted in butter.
- French or Italian loaf bread, or a French baguette
- 3 to 4 Tbsp butter
1 Cut the bread into even-sized cubes, about 3/4-inch to an inch wide. A loaf will yield about 8 cups of cubed bread (give or take a couple cups, depending on the size of the loaf).
2 The bread should be a little dry, at least a day old if you are using French or Italian loaf or a baguette. If the bread isn't just a little dry, spread the cubes out on a baking sheet and put them in a warm oven for about 10 minutes. You don't want them to be all dried out, just a little dry on the surface so that they brown better, and they hold up better when tossed in a salad or baked in a stuffing.
3 Melt butter on medium high heat in a large sauté pan. Add the croutons and mix them up in the butter so they get lightly coated. Spread the croutons out in a single layer in the pan. Then don't stir them until they start to brown on one side. Once they start to brown, use a metal spatula to lift them up and turn them over, so more sides brown. When the croutons are at least a little toasted on a couple of sides, remove from heat.
If storing, let cool completely before putting in an airtight container. Otherwise the steam released from the warm croutons will take away their crunch.