Like me, you probably normally purchase croutons in a bag or box at the supermarket. But if you need some on the spur of the moment to garnish a salad or soup, it’s nice to be able to make your own. You can also season them as you wish, and might come up with some you prefer over the packaged ones.
Use stale French bread if you have it. Otherwise, dice whatever bread you have, including leftover rolls, bread, corn bread, or whatever. Crouton is French for “toast” and that’s what we’re going to do.
In a small skillet, heat some olive oil with a little butter. Maybe a tablespoon of each for the ones shown in the photo. The oil helps keep the butter from burning as well as adding its own flavor, and the butter adds flavor and color.
When the oil and butter are hot, add the bread cubes and toss them with a couple of spatulas so they get some oil and butter all over them. Add more oil and butter if you need to. Then let them sit over medium heat so they can toast. Toss them once in a while, but let them sit in one place long enough to brown.
Season them with whatever you want: Italian seasonings, garlic powder or salt, onion powder or salt, one of Emeril’s essences, and so forth. Next time you eat some prepackaged croutons that you like, notice what the seasonings are. You can do it yourself.