My recipe for crunchy baguette crisps is ridiculously easy to make, and yummy, too! Make in advance for your cheese boards, charcuterie platters, fancy appetizers, loaded crostini plates, or a quick snack. Stick with salt and pepper for maximum flexibility, or get creative with infused oils, herbs, or even hard cheese crumbles, like Parmesan or Pecorino.
I love making these homemade baguette crisps. They’re so easy to make, and they taste delicious with cheese, charcuterie, or even on their own.
Besides being easy and cheaper than buying them, the best part is you can customize them to your own liking or cheese board plans by adding additional treats while making, such as garlic, herbs, Parmesan cheese…the possibilities are endless!
They’re also great for reducing your kitchen food waste, as they’re even better when you use slightly stale bread. If you’re looking for a way to use up leftover baguettes from dinner the night before, these are perfect.
Anytime something is easy, cheap, and flavorful, you can sign me up.
Get ready for your next go-to recipe for an appetizer platter or cheese board.
What Are Crostini & Baguette Crisps?
Crostini, or baguette crisps, are perfectly crispy, thin slices of toasted bread, topped with a variety of items.
In Italian, crostini translates as “little crusts” or “little toast.” It’s a traditional Italian appetizer using day old bread that’s rubbed with olive oil, cut into thin slices, and crisped.
The word crostini can both refer to the little toasts themselves (as we’re making here) or as a full on appetizer that uses the crostini toast as a base, and then tops it off with various goodies.
Baguette crisps are easy to make, and they taste amazing with cheese, hearty dips and spreads like hummus, meats, etc.
They’re also super versatile. You can make them fairly plain, with olive oil and salt and pepper. Or you can fancy them up a bit, using garlic butter, parmesan, herbs, etc.
You can eat them on their own as a snack, or serve them with meat, cheese, flavored goats cheese log, jams and chutneys, fruits and veg – endless possibilities!
What You Need – Ingredients for Baked Baguette Crisp Crostini
When making homemade crostini, I like to stick to a basic baguette loaf, or – if I can’t find a French baguette, an Italian loaf around the same width, and not too crusty or rustic.
One of the secrets to getting your crisps really crispy is using day-old or two-day old bread. Crostini are an “anti food waste” dream, because they’re a really cleaver way to use up a half-loaf that isn’t fresh enough to eat on it’s own anymore, but that you don’t want to waste.
For a basic salt and pepper crostini, you’ll also need a good quality olive oil, kosher or fine sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.
If you want to add some flavor, you can add fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage etc, or a sharp hard cheese, like Parmesan or Pecorino.
You can also sub olive oil with butter (plain or flavored).
How to Make Crostini – Instructions for Easy DIY Baguette Crisps
Preheat Oven for Evenly Toasted Baguette Crisps
Preheat oven is one of the two secrets to getting evenly crisped baguette crisps. Whether you’re cooking them in a conventional oven or an air fryer, you’ll want to preheat oven in advance, so even cooking.
Finding the perfect baking temp for your crostini is the trickiest part of this recipe, and it’s going to depend somewhat on your oven, rack position, how thinly you’ve sliced the bread, and how old the bread is (older bread = less moisture = less cook time).
Generally speaking, when cooking in a conventional oven, bake anywhere from 350F to 425F for around 5 to 8 minutes.
If you’re using an air fryer, again it will depend somewhat. In the photos for this post, I baked in my air fryer at 350F for 7 minutes.
Slicing Your Baguette for Crostini
The other key to gorgeous, perfectly crispy baked crostini from baguette crisps happens before the bread is in the oven.
The key is in the slicing your day old baguette, not the recipe itself (although the baking is pretty important, too).
For super even baked baguette crisps, your bread slices need to have a uniform thickness of about 1/4″ to 1/2″. Personally, I like my slices to be on the thinner side, and even across the batch.
Slice the bread into rounds, or slice on a diagonal – both work. However, I find slicing them as rounds to be slightly easier to maintain consistency.
Olive Oil vs Butter
Once you’ve got even slices, you’ll need to coat them with either olive oil or butter.
Purists will use olive oil, but I say use whatever you have in your kitchen, or prefer on the day you’re making them.
For olive oil, brush a light, even coat of extra virgin olive oil over the whole surface (both sides) of each bread slice. Don’t drown it, or you’ll end up with greasy crostini, but make sure it’s consistent and even. This will help with browning, and also give a nice light olive oil flavor.
If you’re using butter, I like to put the baguette slices in a bowl, melt the butter, and then toss it all together to coat. You can use plain butter, or flavored – I made some garlic butter for this recipe, but feel free to let your creativity go free.
Season the Bread Slices
For basic salt and pepper crisps, lightly season with freshly ground pepper, and a sprinkle of high quality salt. When I say sprinkle, I really mean it – go easy on the seasoning, as this will give you the most flexibility when it comes to topping them!
If you want to make flavored crisps, now’s the time to add your other flavors. For this post, I added shredded Parmesan, and baked them with some fresh rosemary, which gave a light rosemary flavor.
Toasting Baguette Crisps to Crostini Perfection
In this recipe, I used my air fryer, baking at 350F for 7 minutes. It worked a charm, and got them really crisp, but not overly so.
For a conventional oven, bake between 350F to 425F for around 5 to 8 minutes.
While baking, you want to keep an eye on these suckers when they’re in the oven.
Once they start browning, they can go from brown to burnt really quickly. If some are starting to teeter near the edge, feel free to pull them out.
Keep the oven light on and a watchful eye. The goal is golden, crispy, but not burnt or completely dried out and hard.
Note, they’ll continue to crisp up a bit once they’re done baking and out of the oven / air fryer.
Salt and pepper flavoring is a good basic, and you can use it with a huge range of cheese, dips, meats, relishes, etc. For really strong flavors, like hummus or blue cheese, the light seasoning on the crisps won’t take away from your dip, cheese, etc.
That said, you can also get creative, especially if you’re using them with a specific recipe or platter.
Feel free to rub the bread slices with a garlic clove when they’re right out of the oven, or infuse your butter or olive oil with garlic.
Or mix some fresh chopped herbs into the olive oil before brushing it on, or a creatively infused oil when brushing.
Baguette Crisps FAQs
Crostini vs Bruschetta: What’s the Difference?
Often the words “crostini” and “bruschetta” are used interchangeably.
While at the end of the day, they both mean you get to enjoy toasted, delicious bread, topped with goodies, they’re not exactly the same. In the interest of being precise, I think it’s worth noting they’re different, and how.
First, the terminology. Crostini is the Italian word for toast or little toast, as noted above. Bruschetta, however, is linked to the Roman dialect for bruscare, which means “roast over coals” or “toast”.
The difference really comes down to how the bread is prepped and topped.
Crostini are small, thin, crunchy bread crisps, most often made from a baguette that’s brushed with olive oil, seasoned, and toasted (although you can definitely get creative with bread type). Prep ’em in advance, let ’em cool, and and enjoy them with a huge range of food – the best of which I think is cheese, of course.
Bruschetta is a different, heartier beast. Brushetta bread is typically wider and more rustic (although you can use a baguette, and that’s often how you’ll find Bruschetta served in North America).
Whereas crostini is sliced really thinly to get the perfectly baked crisps, bruschetta uses thicker pieces. It’s then grilled (or broiled) so that it has a light char, and you’ll often notice it has the black grill marks on it.
The next step is where the magic happens for bruschetta: the thicker, crustier bread is grilled, and then rubbed with a peeled or smashed garlic clove to flavor the bread. It’s then drizzled with high quality, extra virgin olive oil before being topped, which varies based on region and preference (although typically involves tomatoes in North American interpretations).
How Long Can You Store Baguette Crisps for?
Seal tightly, and you can store these crisps in the refrigerator for up to a week.
What Should You Pair Baguette Crisps or DIY Crostini With?
These crisps are best enjoyed with cheese, of course! Creamy, high fat cheese like brie is great, as are flavorful cheeses like Gouda or Manchego.
They’re also really easy to pair with an Italian cured meat like salami or prosciutto.
Dips like hummus, baba ganoush, red pepper dip, or whipped feta dip are another great choice for these crisps.
I hope you enjoy this baguette crisp and crostini recipe, and find it as easy and delicious in your home as it is in mine!