So. Old bread. I have tried making croutons before, but they weren't perfect. Just not crispy enough. They are so easy, but I just never got the system down. Now I have it. I am addicted to these and it is so pleasing to use up the last 3-4 old pieces of bread. I save bread bits all the time—freezing them usually, but then only want to make bread pudding. The problem with this is I am the only bread pudding eater in the house, so it's not good for me. The bread bits sit in the freezer forever and get all gross and freezer burnt. I know I can make breadcrumbs too, but I seem to never use them, to be honest. Now croutons— I use those, but can't justify buying them, of course.
Okay, this is so simple, but the key for me was adding olive oil and baking it in the toaster/convection oven.
I cube up 3-4 pieces of bread, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper (and garlic salt, cheese powder, or some other nasty thing is you are feeling crazy—but plain is really nice too) and bake for 20 minutes in a 350° oven. I use a 9" x 9" pan and never use more than 4 pieces f bread in this size. I don't stir, just bake, and let it cool. Perfect. I use these on salads and in soup. I feel a bit silly writing about this, because you probably already do this, but who the heck knows—it's made my life better.