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Cooking Tips

Your Hands Are the Best Tools for Making Croutons

Put down the knife. Tearing bread into irregular shapes before toasting it makes for extra-crunchy croutons. 
By Published Sept. 6, 2022

A cook’s most important tool is a good chef’s knife. (Loud buzzer noise.) No, it’s not. A cook’s most important tool is their hands. 

When you use your hands, as opposed to a knife, to break down bread for croutons, you create jagged, irregular shapes that are better than perfect squares or rectangles. Better how, you ask? Rough croutons have more surface area to soak up dressing, and that bumpy landscape also translates into more crunch. 

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10 ingredients. 45 minutes. Quick, easy, and fresh weeknight recipes.

We hand-tear bread into croutons in our recipe for Marinated Plum Tomato Salad with Olive Sauce. Here’s how to make perfectly jagged, crunchy croutons.

  1. Take 4 ounces of crusty bread and tear it into bite-size pieces; you should have about 4 cups of irregularly shaped bready bits. 
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet until shimmering. Add all the torn bread and ½ teaspoon of table salt and cook, stirring often, until the bread is golden brown all over, about 8 minutes. 

Pro Tip: You can add seasonings—some dried herbs, minced garlic, a spice blend, etc.—about halfway through cooking. 

You may never use a knife to cut croutons again.