A crouton is a piece of rebaked bread, often cubed and seasoned. Croutons are used to add texture and flavour to salads—most notably the Caesar salad—as an accompaniment to soups and stews, or eaten as a snack food. But can you batch-prepare them and store them?
Can You Freeze Croutons?
Yes, you can freeze croutons for up to 2 months. Once cooked and cooled, they can be portioned in freezer bags or Tupperware containers. They should be kept airtight when frozen.
Do Croutons Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Croutons? No
How to Freeze Croutons
Croutons make a great accompaniment for a variety of dishes and it is a very easy recipe to make at home, or you can buy pre-made ones from the local supermarket.
Making croutons can also be a great way to use up a loaf of bread that may be about to go stale, so you could end up with quite a lot of croutons and you are going to want an effective method of storing them.
Freezing will give them the longest shelf life possible, but there are a few key steps to follow to ensure they are preserved well:
- Prepare Croutons: Slice your bread into 1-inch cubes. Combine with olive oil and seasonings.
- Spread on a Baking Tray: Lay out the oiled and seasoned cubes of bread on a baking tray.
- Bake the Bread: Place the bread cubes in the oven at 175C/350F and bake until the cubes become crispy and golden brown. Give the croutons a quick toss halfway through baking to make sure they brown on all sides.
- Allow to Cool: Remove the tray from the oven and allow the croutons to cool completely.
- Add to Bag or Container: To prevent freezer burn, add the croutons into a freezer-friendly bag or airtight container.
- Label and Freeze: As always, label with the date of freezing and then slot into the freezer for up to 2 months.
3 Tips for Freezing Croutons
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing croutons to have the best results:
Try Different Bread Varieties
Croutons can be extremely versatile in terms of their flavour, but you can also experiment with the base ingredient. Try making croutons from bread such as rye or ciabatta for a different flavour profile.
Use Silicone Bags
Silicone bags are not only freezer-friendly but also very eco-friendly. They are far more durable than their plastic counterparts and also ensure that no flavours lingering in the freezer can get into the croutons.
How Long Can You Freeze Croutons?
You are able to safely store croutons in the freezer for up to 2 months without impairing the quality of the croutons.
This is a great storage solution for any leftover or additional croutons as they would typically only last 4-7 days when kept in the fridge, so using the freezer will allow you to have perfect croutons for weeks to come!
Croutons do not need to be stored in the fridge. Instead, they will keep for around 1 week in an airtight container at room temperature.
How Do You Defrost Croutons?
When you are ready to use your frozen croutons, the thawing process is incredibly simple! Just take a handful of frozen croutons out of the freezer and leave them out on the counter to thaw.
Depending on how big you have cut the croutons, it will take between 10-30 minutes for them to thaw completely. You will then need to wait an additional 30 minutes for them to come up to room temperature.
The best way to reheat the croutons for them to become extra crispy is either in a pan or in the oven.
If you use a pan, just heat a small frying pan on a medium-high heat and place the croutons in the pan, allowing the heat to dry out any moisture caused by thawing.
The other method is to pop the croutons into the oven for 5-10 minutes at 300F, allowing them to crisp up.
Can You Refreeze Croutons?
No, you cannot refreeze croutons.
While croutons can be frozen and thawed and still retain their taste and texture, it is not recommended to freeze them again as they will become very hard. So for best results only freeze cooked croutons once.
Do Croutons Freeze Well?
Croutons freeze really well and it is a great way to store additional croutons when needed.
The thawing process is not only simple but also incredibly quick, and then you can serve the defrosted croutons with salads, soups or simply have a bowl of them as a snack!
If you’ve still got questions about freezing croutons or croutons in general, then these may help:
Yes, you can freeze shop-bought croutons but it’s always worth checking the storage instructions on the packet to be sure.
Air, humidity and moisture are the things that prevent croutons from remaining crispy. When storing croutons, you need to keep it away from these things by storing them at room temperature in a good-quality bag.
Yes, whether croutons are shop-bought or homemade they can be frozen for around 2 months.
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