It's so simple and easy to make your own bread crumbs and croutons, that it's ridiculous to pay those expensive prices for the store bought kind. I love making my own diy food products whenever possible. I mean, have you really looked at the ingredient list on those prepackaged foods that line the store shelves? It's scary, and if I can make something myself then I do it. Not only is it more frugal, but healthier too.
I make my families bread, and one of the drawbacks to that is that it doesn't last very long before it goes stale. No preservatives equals a short shelf life. It's not a drawback really when you think of what you can do with that stale bread. If I don't turn it into a french toast casserole, then I stash them in a gallon size freezer bag in the freezer. Once it's full, I turn the bread into bread crumbs and croutons. Use the bread crumbs as a breading or filler for meats, and the croutons taste great tossed on top of soups and salads, or just to munch on.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Lay bread slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the slices over, and bake for another 15 minutes.
Place bread slices into a food processor (or blender) and process until you have fine, uniform crumbs.
Store bread crumbs in an airtight container in the freezer for up to six months.
10 slightly stale bread slices, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Garlic powder to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Place bread cubes on a large baking sheet, and spread out into a single layer.
Sprinkle salt and pepper, and garlic powder if your using, over the bread, then drizzle the olive oil over the bread.
Using your hands, toss to coat the bread cubes thoroughly, then spread back into an even layer.
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until golden brown, tossing bread cubes several times while baking.
Store croutons in an air-tight container for up to one week.