Make Homemade Breadcrumbs
Make your own homemade breadcrumbs today.
Have you ever opened your bread drawer or cupboard and found nothing but scraps, ends and stale bits? Don’t fret. You’re not the only one. It’s a common problem in many a household, especially one with kids. Kids run up, grab the first loaf they see, eat and run. Meanwhile the last few slices in the older bag are just waiting to get used or to be lathered in peanut butter.
But what do you do with those stale ends? Birds, trash, wipe the counters down? The answer is simple. Make your own homemade breadcrumbs. Frugal grandmothers and professional kitchens have been doing it for ages. The old adage that grandma preached, “waste not, want not” is mantra in the kitchens. If you want to make a Chef mad, throw some useful food away right in front of them and see what happens.
A Tale of Two Kinds
Browse the shelves of any grocery store and you’ll inevitably see two kinds of breadcrumbs. Italian and Japanese, also known as panko. To make these different types yourself is a difference of method. Italian breadcrumbs are toasted, sandy little bits. These fine crumbs have been around for ages and are used for crusts, breading, meatballs, you name it. Italian style breadcrumbs are made with bread that has previously been toasted. Or with bread that has been allowed to be exposed to air and has become quite hard. This hard bread will break up nice and fine in your food processor. Just a few whips around the bowl and you’re done.
Japanese breadcrumbs or panko are a relatively newcomer to the breadcrumb scene and are quite easy to make without any special equipment. What I do to make mine is food process the bread when it is still kind of soft, but you know it is stale. Don’t toast it first as processing the softer stale bread will produce those light and airy crumbs you are looking for. If you’re after the dry type panko crumb, simply spread the crumbs on a baking sheet and toast them in a moderate over AFTER you have processed them. This way you have the light and airy crumbs, but the dry texture you want.
Hoarding Your Crumbs
Storing your crumbs is fairly easy. Store your dry crumbs in the pantry or cupboard for up to 6 months. Fresh crumbs should be stored in the freezer for about three months. Due to their delicate nature, they’re a bit more susceptible to the harsh freezer environment.
I’m sure you’ve also seen breadcrumbs that have already been seasoned. While these are a convenient item, to me they tend to not have as much flavor as what I am looking for. If you would like your seasoned, try the following ingredients, but mix to your taste.
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Italian Seasoning
- Dried Parley
- Dried Thyme
- Dried Rosemary
- Chinese Five Spice
- Ground Ginger
- Cajun Seasoning
Now there you have it. A simple quick and easy way to use up those leftover bread stragglers and save some cash by making your own homemade breadcrumbs. Enjoy!