Bread croutons are synonymous with soups. Atleast in India, restaurants serve soups with croutons floating on them. Here in Qatar, I have seen restaurants serving bread slices with butter as accompaniments for soups. My younger son was so drawn to the deep fried bread croutons that they served separately at the Dosa Plaza with tomato soup. As I tend to avoid deep frying as much as possible, I came up with these baked bread croutons.
Back in India, I used to just butter the bread slices and toast them on stove top. These were of course good, but baked ones are crispy all around, and do not get soggy so quickly. And the best part was that I could get them ready in a matter of minutes.
You can make flavoured croutons, by adding finely grated garlic, spices or dried herbs to the butter before spreading on the bread.
Apart from soups, you can use them with salads or even in vegetable biriyanis as they do in South India. They are so crispy that you can even have them as a snack all by themself. They keep well in an air tight container for quite a few days.
Lets get to it…
- 5 slices bread
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Apply the butter on all the bread slices. Cut them into small cubes. I made 16 cubes out of one slice.
- Grease a shallow baking pan, preferably dark colored one. Arrange the cubes on it apart from each other.
- Bake for 7-10 minutes. Turn the croutons and bake the other side for another 7 minutes. The second side will get browned faster.
- Serve with soups or salads. Left overs can be cooled and stored in air tight containers.
- You can add more butter if you want it very close to the fried ones.
- Do not let these unattended in the oven as it tends to brown very quickly.
- Generally it takes 12-15 minutes. Increase the time as needed.
- Using a dark colored tray quickens up the process.