Last Thanksgiving I bought three bags of plain, dried bread cubes to turn into stuffing. Turns out we only needed one bag. The unused bags sat in the cabinet for nearly six months. Typical, right? A few weeks ago I was clearing out old food in my cabinets and saw the now very old and very stale bread cubes and decided not to throw them away (my mother would be so proud), but instead to make croutons. No one died, and everyone liked the croutons.
The next week I went in search of more bread cubes (the plain kind, not the kind from Pepperidge Farm, but the kind bakeries often cube up and bag at the end of the day), but I couldn’t find any. About that same time I was opening up a fresh loaf of my favorite bread (Alvarado’s Sprouted Wheat Multi-Grain Bread found in your grocer’s freezer) and was about to toss the hated-by-all heel into the compost when it occurred to me that I could transform both heels of the loaf into croutons. Sure, for years I’ve saved the odd heel on a loaf for bread crumbs, but never croutons. It’s not exactly revolutionary or original, but damn, it sure does make me happy to know that each week I can make a fresh batch of croutons from my super-healthy, tasty bread and save a few heels from the bottom of the compost heap.
- Heels from your favorite loaf of bread, cubed (I like to cube my bread super small because I don’t like gigantic croutons that scrape and scratch the roof of my mouth)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
In a small skillet warm your olive oil. Add garlic and cook until slightly softened. Add cubed bread and salt. Continue to cook until bread cubes are completely dried out and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Let cool and store in a glass jar.