Croutons add crunch, substance and texture to salads and soups – they can be made ahead and frozen.
4 slices 1-day old bread, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Place the bread in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper and toss well. Lay the bread out on a tray and bake for 10-15 minutes, turning once, until golden on both sides.
To make garlic croutons: use garlic oil instead of olive oil or toss the bread in garlic salt before you cook it.
To make chilli croutons, use chilli oil instead of olive oil and toss the bread with finely chopped dried chilli.
To make herb croutons, add 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs or Herbes de Provence with the bread and olive oil.
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