I made croutons over the weekend to go with our salad. I rarely buy salad makings during the winter as I prefer to just eat what we have on hand canned or in the freezer rather than buy the lettuce that has been shipped in from California. However, I do crave a good salad in the middle of winter.
Croutons are simple to make and delicious. In fact, you don't' really need the excuse of having a salad to eat them!
You can use up "old" bread that is drying out or start with fresh bread. Cut the bread in bit size cubes. You can use olive oil, butter or a combination of the two. I use butter (of course). Melt enough to lightly coat the bread cubes and then sprinkle with your choice of seasonings. My personal favorite is to use onion powder, garlic powder and an Italian herb mix. Sprinkle with a little salt and mix well, coating all the bread cubes. Bake these cubes in a 350 degree oven using a spatula to turn several times. When cubes are dry and hard, remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered, Parmesan cheese.
(You can try different types of bread to make the croutons. I usually make it using french bread or white bread. I have tried 100% whole wheat bread (homemade) and found it made the croutons "heavy" and they also burned easily. I think a bread of 50% whole wheat and 50% white flour would make a nice crouton. I imagine rye bread would be good as well. Experiment!)