Croutons add essential crunch and a flavor boost to salads. Chowhound user chowser has a trick to make them even tastier. Start by cutting day-old bread into cubes. Meanwhile, set your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook some bacon and chopped garlic together in a skillet with an oven-safe handle. Once the bacon is crisp, remove it and discard*, then toss the bread cubes in the garlicky fat. Stick the skillet in the oven and bake till the croutons are crisp all the way through. “They’re great in panzanella,” chowser says.

For a more detailed recipe, you can follow most of the steps here … just replace the butter with bacon fat!

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*Just kidding.

Illustration by Bill Russell

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