You may wonder why you would bother making your breadcrumbs when they are already ridiculously cheap to buy in the supermarket. There are at least two compelling explanations for this. 1) If you forgot to buy them for a recipe and don’t want to go to the shop again (story of my life), and 2) to reduce waste. I’d rather reuse and use up leftover bread than buy new bread that is already in crumb shape. To further decrease waste, set aside a freezer bag for bread “scraps” (stale pieces, the heels of loaves, etc.) that may be made into breadcrumbs once accumulated. Once you’ve gathered your scraps, follow this simple recipe for breadcrumbs to have on hand for use in meatballs, meatloaves, breading fried meals, or as crunchy casserole toppings.
How to Use Breadcrumbs in Recipes?
Breadcrumbs are used in recipes to soften and retain moisture in meat mixes such as meatloaf and meatballs, as a crunchy coating on fried meals, and as a crispy topping for casseroles (typically mixed with butter and occasionally Parmesan). The nice thing about handmade breadcrumbs is that the texture is generally coarser and more irregular than store-bought, giving your cuisine additional texture.
What Kind of Bread Can I Use to Make Breadcrumbs?
This is where making your breadcrumbs come in handy. You may use almost any kind of bread! Remember that the type of bread you use will influence the texture and flavor of your breadcrumbs.
Crusty artisan bread produces a more dense and crunchy breadcrumb than white sandwich bread, and rye bread produces an entirely different-tasting breadcrumb than brioche bread. You can experiment with different bread varieties to suit the recipe you’ll be using, the crumbs, or you can make a variety mix with numerous sorts of bread so that no flavor or texture stands out.
How to Store Breadcrumbs
Homemade breadcrumbs may still include trace levels of moisture, unlike store-bought breadcrumbs, which are extensively tested to ensure they are devoid of moisture. Because moisture can promote yeast and mold growth, put your homemade breadcrumbs in an airtight container in the freezer.
Because the breadcrumbs are so small, they thaw practically instantaneously when added to a recipe, eliminating the need for a lengthy defrost period. There is no hard and fast rule for how long breadcrumbs will keep “good” in the freezer; rather, prolonged storage will cause them to dry up and absorb stray flavors. So keep them well packed in thick, freezer-grade packaging.
Can I Make Breadcrumbs Without a Food Processor?
Yes! However, it can be a little more difficult. Simply insert your dried bread pieces in a heavy-duty zip-top bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they form crumbs. The tough part is that if your bread isn’t completely dry, the rolling pin will only smush it instead of crumbling it. So, when drying your bread, be extra cautious.
How to Make Breadcrumbs – Step by Step
Today I’m preparing breadcrumbs from some leftover hamburger buns in the freezer. As previously stated, breadcrumbs may be made from almost any form of bread, including leftover buns!
Preheat oven to 350oF. Tear your bread into 1-2′′ bits to improve the surface area and speed up drying time. Spread the bread chunks on a large baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake the bread chunks, tossing every five minutes or so, until they are dry and just beginning to turn a little golden on the edges. I baked the bread for around 15 minutes. The time required to dry your bread will vary widely depending on the type of bread and the size of your bread chunks, so keep an eye on them and stir at least twice to guarantee even drying. Remove them from the oven and set them aside to cool. Cooling will allow the remaining steam to evaporate and complete the drying process. It should just take a few minutes to cool.
In a food processor, pulse the dried and cooled bread pieces until they are crumbs. The crumbs can be as fine or as coarse as you wish. If your breadcrumbs are still slightly damp, spread them on the baking sheet and let them air dry, or return them to the oven for a few minutes. Keep in mind that drying occurs considerably more quickly in crumb form than in chunk form.
How to Make Italian Breadcrumbs
Add 1 tsp Italian herb blend, 1/8 tsp garlic powder, and 1/8 tsp salt to each cup of handmade breadcrumbs. If you don’t have an Italian herb blend, substitute 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley, 1/4 teaspoon dry basil, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
That’s all there is to it! The Italian breadcrumbs are finished and ready to use or store.
Remember to put your breadcrumbs in the freezer to keep any remaining moisture from creating yeast or mold growth. And, as always, label and date your frozen foods!
Read more: Top 10 Baking Improvement Tips