can i just get a big YUM? thanks.
these are so tasty i could eat them by themselves. wait…i DO do that. nevermind. actually, that’s the best part about these: you have to keep tasting them throughout the baking processing to make sure they are crunchy enough and tasty enough. at least that’s what i like to tell myself. and sometimes, SOMETIMES, they just happen to fall into my mouth even before they are placed in the oven. whoopsies! the sacrifices we cooks have to make, all in the name of good food. (why doesn’t “good” and “food” rhyme? they’re spelled the same. oh, English, you silly silly language. how i love you so.)
1 loaf of bread (any bread will do. the best would be homemade. maybe when i’m a stay-at-home mom i will do that. for now, though, i use rosemary-olive oil bread from costco or a local bakery. i’ve also used sourdough in the past.)
freshly grated parmesan cheese
herb seasonings (if you are using plain bread. i don’t use this when i use the rosemary-olive oil bread)
preheat oven to 425°.
1) cut bread into slices, at whatever width you desire depending on how big or small you want your croutons to be. i like my croutons big but not too big, so my slices tend to be about the width of my finger.
2) cut each slice into smaller pieces, again size depending on how big or small you want your croutons to be.
3) place into large mixing bowl. drizzle with olive oil. sprinkle with remaining ingredients. using your hands, dig into the bowl and toss everything around. drizzle on some more olive oil and sprinkle with more cheese and seasonings. i go light on the paprika and garlic because i don’t want it to overpower the toasted parmesan cheese flavoring. again, toss bread pieces around using your hands.
now go wash your hands because as they were at your side for the briefest of a moment, the dogs seized the opportunity and started licking all the yummy goodness off. cleanliness is next to godliness, after all.
4) spread out on a baking sheet, making sure to only leave a single layer of bread so that they all crisp up nice and evenly. bake for 10 minutes. remove from oven and stir around to give the undersides the chance to get some heat. return to over for another 5 minutes.
5) remove from oven and allow to cool before serving. but please make sure to taste-test 1, 2, or even 10 first–just to make sure they’re perfect. store in a ziploc bag or air-tight container.