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Food

Make your own sourdough croutons! (You’re welcome)

Sourdough croutons
Sprinkle these croutons on a Caesar or any other salad.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times)

Homemade croutons taste way better than store-bought. They take time to bake but little effort to put together. And they don’t require exact measurements: Crisp up as many or as few as you’d like and adjust the other quantities as needed. The timing depends largely on the bread and your crunch preference. Here’s how to do it.

Homemade Sourdough Croutons

45 minutes. Makes as much as you want.

Ingredients

  • 1 sourdough loaf or boule, fresh or day-old
  • Everyday extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cut the bread with its crust into cubes slightly larger than the crouton size you like. I prefer 1 ½-inch cubes because they’ll shrink to an inch after baking. Spread the cubes in a single layer, leaving some space between them, on a half-sheet pan or other rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dry, firm and golden, 10 to 20 minutes. The timing depends on how dry your bread is to begin with.
  3. Put the pan on a rack and push all the bread cubes together so they’re touching. Drizzle evenly with olive oil so all the cubes are lightly coated but not drenched. Toss the cubes to even out the oil coating and spread out again. Return to the oven and bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Let them go to dark golden brown if you prefer extra-crunchy croutons with a dark-toast taste. Just don’t let them burn.
  4. Immediately sprinkle the croutons with salt and pepper and toss to even out the seasonings. Cool completely on the pan on a wire rack.

Make ahead: The croutons will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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