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Chef Donna

 Chef Donna shows us how to make Pumpkin Pie Spiced Croutons

Recipe.  Pumpkin Pie Spiced Croutons

You can use Pumpkin Pie Spice, but I like the savory notes of The Spice & Tea Exchange Baker’s Blend or the Autumn Harvest Blend.  It makes the croutons seasonal, and perfect for any winter meal. 

This recipe is as simple as simple gets, and doesn’t require much more than the leap of faith that there will be enough bread cubes to steal from the stuffing.  That, and an available spot in a 350° F oven.

You can enter for a chance to win The Essential James Beard Cookbook, 400 Recipes That Shaped the Tradition of American Cooking (Hardcover) by going to The Spice & Tea Exchange blog, and finding this post on Spiced Croutons.  Just leave a comment to be entered to win!  We find that using this technique to season the croutons with its Caesar Salad Recipe is a smart way to modernize this classic.  We recommend Signature Blend or Tuscany Blend 


2 cups (about) cubed fresh bread (cut your bread from a somewhat sturdy loaf; choose a size that is appropriate for your meal – large for croutons for salad, smaller for a garnish with seasoned vegetables or proteins)

1/4 cup high quality, fruity olive oil

Fresh grated cheese (I used Manchego on the TV Segment))

1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (or other spice blend, such as Baker’s Blend or even Autumn Harvest Blend)

Salt and pepper, to season


Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Place the cubed bread into a large mixing bowl.  Pour the olive oil along the edge of the so it runs down the sides.  Using a large spatula, gently toss the bread cubes with the oil by scraping the sides and folding the mixture into the cubes.  Continue tossing until all the cubes are lightly coated. 

Turn the croutons out onto a rimmed baking sheet.  Arrange in an even layer.  Season generously with Pumpkin Pie Spice (or other spice blend, such as Baker’s Secret or te Autumn Harvest Blend) and some salt and pepper.  Grate some cheese over the top and then place in a preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the freshness of the bread), tossing at least once, until the croutons are dried and golden brown.  Let cool on the sheet pan. 

Keeps in an airtight container in a cool place for 1 week.