Croutons are the ideal way to provide a (boring) dish with more tension, texture and taste. With these tips you can also make such flavor bombs that they become downright addictive.
Tips for the best croutons
Choose the right bread…
Sure: croutons are a typical example of a product to use up leftover stale bread. We understand all too well that you are not going to buy a loaf of bread specifically to make those things, but simply use what you still have in your lunch box.
Still, it pays to keep in mind that the type of bread will have some impact on the taste of your croutons. Are your croutons meant for soup? Then use a firm, older bread, such as sourdough. Could the croutons be a bit lighter, for example as a crunchy topping on chicken or a salad? Then you might as well use a slightly lighter bread, such as brioche or casino.
The main thing is that you consider in advance which bread will go with your dish. And oh yes: in any case, bread that is a few days old does the best. Don’t you? Then put your bread under the grill for a few minutes, so that it becomes crispy.
…or what else
In addition to bread, you could of course also use other ingredients for croutons. We once came up with gingerbread croutons as a topping for red cabbage steaks – they are super delicious. And in this recipe, Jeroen Meus makes gingerbread croutons as a topping on a coffee cake.
Also think of leftovers of cornbread , sugar bread or focaccia . And do you have some oliebollen left after New Years? Make croutons from them and use them as a crunchy topping for your winter oatmeal or as an addition to a salad with fresh figs.
Choose good fat
The most important thing with croutons is, if possible, the fat in which you fry them. Good quality olive oil and butter are always a good idea, but don’t forget animal fat as well. For example, Alison Roman bakes her croutons in chicken fat, but also goose or pork fat.
And do you want to show yourself all the way? Then bake your cubes of bread in brown butter , like the cool Molly Baz does here .
Choose the right seasonings
And finally: don’t be stingy with seasonings. Salt and pepper are always a good idea, but also think of spices such as za’atar, curry, vadouvan, ras el hanout or cumin. For an Asian touch you could use shichimi togarashi or furikake .
Finally, garlic croutons or anchovy croutons always do well. In short: don’t hold back too much and transform those cubes of bread into crispy flavor bombs!