The Basics: How to Make Croutons

From the store to the kitchen to the table: We outline the steps that get you from raw ingredients to your dinner tonight, free of measurements and complicated techniques. It’s a method you’ll remember and whip out whenever you like. It is the most basic way to make the thing you’re making.

  • - an oven-safe frying pan or a frying pan and a baking dish
  • - three slices of crusty white bread such as pain au levain
  • - butter or cooking oil
  • - one minced garlic clove
  • - salt and pepper
  • - finely chopped fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme (optional)


  • 1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (it will take at least 20 minutes to warm up).

    Step 1
  • 2. Cut the bread into cubes.

    Step 2
  • 3. Place a knob of butter or some oil in the frying pan over medium-high heat.

    Step 3
  • 4. Once the butter is melted or the oil is heated, add the garlic and season with salt and pepper.

    Step 4
  • 5. Add the bread cubes and stir to coat. Turn off the heat and season with more salt and pepper.

    Step 5
  • 6. Transfer the frying pan to the oven; if you’re not using an oven-safe pan, put the bread cubes in a baking dish and put that in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes or until browned. Fold in fresh herbs (if using) and serve with an easy Greek salad.

    Step 6

Illustrations by Bill Russell

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