Friday, June 17, 2011

Frugal Friday Tips-Twice Baked Croutons

This post could go in my DIY Groceries series, but I am posting it here under Frugal Tips instead.  One the most over-priced items in the grocery store, in my opinion, is packaged croutons.  I can buy bread at three different bread surplus stores in my area for as little as $1.00 a loaf, and it is perfect for making croutons.  Besides saving money, there are other reasons to make your own croutons.  Homemade croutons have no additional preservatives other than what is in the bread. They can be made from any bread, which provides unlimited variety.  My personal favorite for making croutons is 12-Grain bread, although that is not what I used today.  They can be made in small batches so they are fresher.  They can be seasoned with any combination of seasonings.  They are very easy to make.

I use a double bake method when I make croutons.  This is a little more labor intensive than most methods, but not much.  I cube my bread, bake it, add the butter/olive oil/seasonings/etc. mixture, blend well and put back in the oven to finish baking.  Before I started to do this, some of the croutons absorbed too much oil and were greasier than the rest.  This method seems to avoid that.  This is what I made today.  Unfortunately, I tend to eat homemade croutons like popcorn which is not very good for my hips.

Sour Dough Garlic/Parmesan Croutons
8 slices Sour Dough French Bread
2 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 c. Parmesan Cheese

Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes.  Spread out in a single layer on two jelly roll pans.  Place in a 300-degree oven and bake for 7-8 minutes.   Turn bread cubes and bake another 7-8 minutes.  Remove from oven and place bread cubes in a large bowl.   Place butter and olive oil in a glass measuring cup.  Microwave at 50% power 1 minute or until butter is melted.  Add garlic powder and Parmesan Cheese.  Mix well.  This will form kind of a paste.  Pour the paste as slowly as you can over the bread cubes, stirring and stirring until it is all very well mixed.  Place the bread cubes in single layers back into the jelly roll pans.  Return to oven and bake 10 minutes, turn bread cubes and bake another 5 to 10 minutes until as crisp as you like.  They will crisp up some more as they cool.  Store tightly covered.  This makes at least as much as a package of croutons.

Linked to I'm Lovin It at Tidy Mom and Frugal Friday at Living on a Dime

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