Chewy Homemade Sourdough Croutons
2 English muffins or 4-5 pieces stale sourdough bread
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp thyme (or rosemary, sage, etc. if preferred)
1 tsp dried chives
Begin by chopping 2 English muffins (tops and bottoms) or a handful of dry bread slices into large, rectangular chunks. Or, if you’re feeling swept away in a magical mood, you can take Jana Kolpen’s advice and whip out any teensy cookie cutters you have and make little stars-and-moons-and-whatnot shaped croutons (hence, “Celestial Croutons”).
While you’re chopping the dry bread, warm a small saucepan over medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle some garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and thyme into the oil. (Or, depending on what you’re serving the croutons with, you can experiment with sage, rosemary, savory or other spices. I just like thyme the best.)
Once the oil and spices are warm (only takes a minute or two), drop the chopped bread all at once into the pan and begin stirring immediately with a wooden spoon. (This will help distribute the oil among all of the pieces and avoid having some pieces that are entirely drenched in oil and spice. This is why dry bread works better than fresh–you get a few extra seconds of grace period before that starts happening.)
Keep saucepan at medium heat, stirring bread occasionally. When pieces begin to brown, remove from heat and set on a cool burner until ready to eat. Sprinkle with dried chives if desired. Don’t overcook the croutons or they’ll harden up like storebought ones. If croutons get finished long before their companion dish, you can always cover the cooling saucepan with foil to hold in moisture.