There are certain things that we should probably not spend our hard-earned money on; and for the record I am not referring to shoes or purses, since those are usually, and most likely very wise purchases… I am referring to breadcrumbs. Why should we spend our money on what amounts to pulverized stale bread? It struck me one day while I was at the grocery store looking for, you guessed it…breadcrumbs. With all of the bread that goes through my house we are always winding up with pieces of bread that seem destined for the trash; ends of the loaves of sliced sandwich bread, that one last piece of Italian bread that no one ate (rare, but it happens), bread from the bakery that became stale in what seems like three hours, etc. Start saving all of this bread, why waste it? If you don’t have enough at the time to make a decent amount of bread crumbs, throw what you have into a large resealable plastic bag, remove as much air as you can, and put it in the freezer until you have enough bread. When you do have enough, take the bread out of the freezer the night before, put it in the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Then an hour before you are ready, put the bread on your counter to bring it to room temperature. Once you see how easy breadcrumbs are to make you will never need (or want) to buy them again. Here’s what you you’ll need: a large cookie sheet(s), food processor (you can get by with a rolling pin or a meat tenderizer if need be), bread and any seasonings you would like to use to flavor the breadcrumbs – and get creative! The stores only sell plain and Italian flavored breadcrumbs, what about spicy paprika breadcrumbs? Parmesan basil breadcrumbs? Lemon oregano breadcrumbs? You get the point…these breadcrumbs are a blank canvas – flavor them any which way you like.
How to make homemade breadcrumbs
Cut up your bread into one inch cubes or pieces.Then, place all of the cubed bread on your cookie sheet(s). Don’t crowd them to much otherwise they won’t brown properly and dry out. That’s pretty much what the cooking is for, drying out the bread, the light browning give a richness of flavor in the process.Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until the bread cubes are browned lightly.Remove from the oven and let the bread cool to room temperature. Add cubes into the food processor and pulse until you reach a desired consistency. You can add in seasoning now if you like, or leave them plain and add in seasonings as needed for different dishes.Store in an airtight container or jar until ready to use.
Some things to note:
•Only fill the food processor about ⅔ full at a time
•Place a dish towel over the food processor BEFORE you start pulsing otherwise you may have a little mess on your hands.
Let me know if you come up with some creative flavor ideas – I’d love to hear from you…
- 8 cups bread - cut into 1" cubes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Place bread cubes onto a large rimmed cookie sheet or jelly roll pan
- Bake for 15-20 minutes and until lightly browned
- Allow bread cubes to fully cool
- Place cooled bread into a food processer (don't use a mini one)
- Pulse until desired consistency is reached
- Pick out any large pieces that did not grind properly (these are pieces of bread that did not dry out enough)
- Add in any seasonings you desire and give it another pulse or two to combine
- Store in an airtight container until ready to use