Do you make bread? Do you buy bread? Then there is no excuse for you EVER to buy those supermarket cubes of edible particle board packed into boxes and labeled “croutons.” I don’t care how lazy you are; making your own takes pretty much the same amount of effort as buying and opening a box. Obviously your results will vary based on the type of bread you’ve got to work with (as with pretty much everything, better quality materials = better quality results), but I guarantee they’ll taste better and cook up crisper than anything you’ll find at the store or neighborhood salad bar. Plus, they’re pretty much free, especially if you were going to throw out that stale bread anyway.
For me, croutons are a no-brainer whenever I’ve amassed enough bread heels and oddly shaped end bits and pieces that are a little too hard to be processed into bread crumbs. The instructions are for as few or as many croutons as you want.
Just preheat the oven to 350 F.
Cut your bread into the appropriate crouton shape.
Toss with enough olive oil to coat (I use a Misto sprayer to ensure no piece gets overly saturated) and sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and fresh or dried herbs of your choice. Obviously amounts will vary based on how much bread you have, but you should be able to see little flecks of the garlic powder, salt, and herbs on each piece.
Spread onto a baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 15-20 minutes. (Keep an eye on them.) This can be done while you’re finishing up whatever meal they’re going to complement.
Enjoy on soup or salad, or as a snack.