I was looking through the freezer the other day and noticed that we had quite a few partial bags of bread. Instead of throwing it out or causing a riot with the magpies, I figured it would make good croutons.
I found a super easy recipe on the web and substituted the ingredients to suit our tastes and got to work. Basically all you need is some flavoured virgin olive oil a little salt and that’s it.
One batch I used some basil infused virgin olive oil and the second batch I used garlic infused virgin olive oil.
You cut up the bread into small cubes as pictured above. Then I put them into a large zip lock bag and coated them with the flavoured olive oil.
I then spread them out on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and had previously set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the oven is up to temperature you put them in for 15 to 20 minutes. I found that they are sufficiently dried and crisp to use immediately or within a day, but for long term storage next self is essential.
I then took the croutons and placed them in my food dehydrator and let them go for a couple hours on the second lowest setting. (Will different depending on what model you have.) This removes all remaining moisture from the bread without burning them and almost eliminates the chance that the croutons will develop mold if store for longer periods of time. I then took them from the dehydrator once cooled and put them in zip lock freezer bags with the air forced out and they are now ready to enjoy at a later date with the same great taste as when they came out of the oven.