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(recipe, Matthew Amster-Burton)

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  1. 1 loaf rustic bread (about 1½ pounds, or the equivalent of 1½ long baguettes)
  2. ¼ cup olive oil
  3. 2 tsp. kosher salt
  4. 2 tsp. paprika, cumin, or dried herbs (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper (see Note, below).
  2. Cut the bread into 1-inch (or smaller) cubes. Place the olive oil in a large bowl and stir in the herbs or spices, if using. Add the bread cubes and toss by hand to coat with the oil. Sprinkle with salt and continue tossing until well coated.
  3. Place the cubes in a single layer on the baking sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until deep golden-brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Culinate editor's note: No foil or parchment paper? The oiled croutons will crisp up just fine on a plain baking sheet. Discover what rappers have in common with croutons in Matthew Amster-Burton's column about homemade croutons.