I saw many months ago on Pioneer Woman that she makes her homemade croutons in a cast iron skillet. I've made croutons many times but always in the oven. I had never once thought of making them in a skillet. The only problem with my oven ones were I have a really bad tendency to burn them, and I never remember to turn them over for even cooking.
I bought some french bread over the weekend without a real purpose, but it was $1 and I couldn't not buy some. Yesterday I was really wanting a salad with the Fancy Mac & Cheese I made from Pioneer Woman's cookbook. Which by the way is the best mac and cheese I've ever had.
Anyway, I decided to give the skillet version on croutons a whirl and I'm so glad I did. They came out perfect. They remind me alot of the ones you find homemade in Amish country, crispy on the outside and a little softer on the inside, you know so your not breaking your tooth on them like some of the store bought brands.
Here's how I made these little beauties:
1/2 loaf french baguette cut into chunks
2 T butter
put about 2T olive oil and butter into a medium to large pan. Allow butter to melt and sizzle (I so love the sound of butter sizzling, does that make me wierd?)
Add your bread chunks and stir them around to coat them with all the oil and butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper, and italian seasonings. I didn't measure any of these because it really depends on your own tast buds. The more you put on the more flavor you will have. Start with a teaspoon each of garlic salt and italian seasoning and 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Allow to cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for even cooking, until desired crunchiness is achieved. I had to add about 2T more olive oil in the middle of the cooking process because mine were not as crispy as I wanted and there was no moisture left in the pan. The bread soaks it up pretty fast.
What I love most about pan frying croutons is you have more control over the outcome. If you like softer croutons then cook them a shorter amount of time, if you like extra crispy cook them a little longer. I think this is how I'll make my croutons from now on.