These are like biscuits for salads and soups. No word of a lie, to me that's what croutons are. Jokes aside though, croutons are a great way to add texture to a salad or soup. It adds crunch.
It pains me though when I see people buying them......or buying a salad from Java that says it has croutons when all they really did was chuck in some diced slices of toast and pretend they are croutons (can you tell yet how this irks me)...............
Anyhoo, here's an easy step by step guide to making your own flavor-sum crunchy croutons.
You will need:
1 small baguette or un-sliced load of bread.
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
3 cloves crushed garlic (optional)
Take your bread and cut it into slices about 1 inch thick, then cut them into cubes. Pour your oil and garlic into a frying pan and heat it up over a low heat until its hot.
Next, add all your chopped up bread into the pan and mix it up well. Do not be tempted to increase the heat because it will only serve to burn the garlic. Keep an eye on the pan making sure to keep tossing the bread so that all the sides get a nice golden brown color. Once your bread has turned golden brown all over, you're good to go. Take them off the heat and let them cool completely. Best to use them immediately but if not, store them in an airtight container or Ziploc bag.