The Bread…You can use almost anything dry and crunchy to make your dry breadcrumbs—including hot dog buns, baguettes, croissants, sliced sandwich bread, Italian loaves, white, wheat, sourdough, rye, crackers, bagels, Goldfish, potato chips, or any combination of these.
Both sweet,and savory breads will make perfect breadcrumbs as long as your bread is nice and dry before crumbling.
Actually combining several different types of bread will add more flavor.
However, do not use stale bread. Stale bread makes stale-tasting breadcrumbs…go figure?!
Collect various odds and ends of breads in a large, re-sealable bag in your freezer until you have a need for using breadcrumbs. One loaf of typical bread will yield about 4C crumbs. Then when a recipe calls for breadcrumbs, use this as an opportunity to make crumbs out of whatever bread you have collected.
But your bread needs to be dry.
Toasting the Bread…If you’re using fresh bread to make your breadcrumbs, place the slices on a baking sheet and bake at 225 for 15min. Halfway through the baking time, turn the bread over so that the bread dries evenly.
Your goal in baking the bread in the oven like this is to evaporate all the moisture out of the bread, completely…
Toasting the bread at such a low temperature will obviously take longer, but this temperature will heat the bread just the right amount to sufficiently vaporize moisture without darkening the bread’s surface or changing its flavor.
The Prep Work…Once your bread is totally dry and crispy, crumbling it into smaller pieces honestly won’t be that big of a deal.
Ar rhis poinr, you xould use one of three methods to finish making your breadcrumbs.
- The Blender or Food Processor
- The Box Grater
- Your Hands
The Blender of Food Processor…Perhaps the easiest and most common way to make breadcrumbs is in a blender or food processor, I honestly don’t have a food processor…still debating whether or not I would actually use one since I have a nice blender already…(more on that later).
Place chunks of the torn dried bread into a blender or the bowl of a food processor.
Add the chunks of bread in small batches.
Be careful not to overcrowd the bread so that grinding wjill be easier.
The Box Grater…A box grater, like the one that I understand is used to grate cheese at home…(honestly I can’t remember the last time I bought cheese that wasn’t already grated)…is another option.
To use a box grater to make breadcrumbs, place the grater in the center of a large bowl. Swipe your bread down its sides like you would a block of cheese.
The “DIY” Method…Finally you can simply make your breadcrumbs by hand. Place the dry bread in a Ziploc bag. Smash with a rolling pin until you have the desired size of breadcrumbs.
The Grand Finale…Regardless which method you are using, you need to end up with crumbs that range in size from crumbs that are the size of oatmeal flakes or rice and larger pieces about the size of small peas.
Now you are ready to toast your crumbs.
To toast your breadcrumbs on the stovetop, pour about 3Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the crumbs, stirring or tossing frequently, for about five minutes…until they are crunchy and golden brown.
Finally season your breadcrumbs with kosher salt. Let cool on a paper towel-lined plate.
Storing Breadcrumbs…How long your breadcrumbs can be used will depend on whether you store them in your fridge or freezer or at room temperature.
Fridge…Your breradcumbs will stay “fresh” in your fridge for up to one month.
Freezer…Your breadcrumbs will stay “fresh” in your freezer for up to three months, as long as they are kept in a resealable bag,
Room Temperature…Your breadcrumbs will stay “fresh” at room temperature for up to three days, as long as they are kept in an airtight container.