Have some bread that is slightly stale...DON'T THROW IT AWAY! You may not get your family to eat it as a sandwich, but slightly stale bread makes awesome breadcrumbs and croutons!!! The top picture shows the size I now prefer for croutons. If you prefer larger croutons, cut them to the size in the bottom picture. My kids snack on these at church...they LOVE them!
Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs: Three ways to do it:
(1)Cut two pieces of bread (or more if you want more crumbs) into one-inch cubes. Use a pastry brush to apply a thin layer of olive oil to each piece of bread. Brown lightly in a skillet and then toast in oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or longer (until crisp).
(2)Put in175 degree oven until dried out...this may take several hours
(3)Leave cubed pieces of bread on the counter overnight
***4 slices of bread is approximately 1 C bread crumbs
Then take chunks of bread and either season to make croutons (ranch seasoning, or Parmesan
works great) or put in food processor or blender and blend to make fine bread crumbs.
Add 1-2 T Italian seasoning per 1 C bread crumbs for Italian Breadcrumbs
Add 1 T softened butter per ½ C bread crumbs for Buttered Breadcrumbs (mix with hand)
Whole Wheat Croutons
Chunk bread as described above in (1) above and drizzle with olive oil and seasoning (ranch or Parmesan with Italian seasoning works great) Sprinkle with salt before toasting.
OR (2)cut bread into 1-in cubes, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning and salt. Put in 175degree oven for several hours (3-4). Check periodically to make sure they don't get too hard.They will soften with dressing when served...if too hard, toss with the dressing before serving.
I have recipes for Herb-Baked Bread and Cheese-Smothered Dill Bread that will be in my cookbook...these breads are wonderful served with dinner and then make FANTASTIC croutons!!!