1 unsliced loaf Pumpernickel bread, or other dense bread
1 unsliced loaf seeded rye bread, or other dense bread
2 sticks butter
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dry parsley flakes
Cut large slices from each loaf, (1-2 inches wide). Turn and slice the other way so you have strips. Then turn again and cut into cubes.
Lay the cubes out on two sheet pans (you want them in a single layer) and dry for 24 hours uncovered.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
After the bread cubes have dried, place cubes into a large bowl.
Melt butter and pour over bread, tossing and turning the cubes as you pour so they are evenly coated.
In a small bowl, mix all spices and sprinkle evenly over bread cubes as you toss and turn them. (Depending how spicy you like your croutons, you may or may not use all of the spice mix.)
Pour bread cubes back onto the same two sheet pans (again, you want a single layer) and bake on two oven racks for ten minutes. Remove from oven, flip each crouton and return the baking sheets to oven making sure the two pans swap oven racks so one pan does not cook more than the other and bake for an additional ten minutes.
Remove the croutons from the oven and cool. Then use on any salad.
Store leftover croutons in a zipper seal bag in the refrigerator or freezer. Bring to room temperature before serving.
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