Croutons

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1/2 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 (8 ounce) loaf French bread baguette, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pinch cayenne pepper

Stir olive oil and garlic together in a bowl. Let sit at room temperature until flavors are infused, about 3 hours.
Preheat oven to 300. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat
Place bread cubes in a large bowl. Pour garlic oil through a strainer onto the bread; toss to coat bread with oil.

Add 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, Italian seasoning, paprika, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper; toss to coat.

Spread bread cubes out in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Turn croutons and bake 15 minutes more. Push croutons together with a spatula so that they are in a compact rectangle on the baking sheet and no longer spread out; sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese over the top.

Bake until cheese is melted and the bread is crispy and crunchy, 10 to 15 minutes more.

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