Stale Italian and French breads work best for this bread crumb recipe, but any crusty bread or wheat bread will do. Avoid Wonder bread and most commercially processed white breads if at all possible, but if that is what you have use it, don’t let the bread go to waste. If your family does not like the heel of the bread for toast or sandwiches, store them in the freezer until you have enough to make bread crumbs.
Your local food pantry may be an excellent way to find bread to make your homemade bread crumbs. Many communities have churches or Salvation Army locations that receive donations from both local and chain supermarkets at least once a week. Most of these locations do not have income requirements in order for you to receive these items free of charge. In fact, much of the bread and rolls often are thrown out at the end of the day. Check with your local food pantries, churches and Salvation Army to see if they offer a day, or two, where they offer free baked goods to the public.
Letting the bread sit exposed to the air for a couple of days will help it get good and stale for this bread crumb recipe. If the bread isn’t quite stale enough, give it a toast in the toaster or oven before adding to the food processor or blender. In order to make the best use of leftover and stale bread use a combination of white and wheat breads. Avoid rye or pumpernickel, they add too much flavor for an unseasoned bread crumb.
You can use this basic bread crumb recipe to make unseasoned or seasoned bread crumbs. Remember, you can always season the bread crumbs, but you cannot remove seasoning. You may want to start with the basic unseasoned bread crumb recipe if you find you do not need seasoned ones as often.
How to make unseasoned bread crumbs from stale bread
- 6 slices stale bread, roughly torn to fit in the food processor or blender
- a pinch of salt
- Add bread and salt to food processor or blender
- Pulse several times to turn into crumbs
- Store in airtight container in freezer for up to six months
- Yield: approximately 2 cups unseasoned bread crumbs
Seasoned or Italian seasoned bread crumbs
All these ingredients are to taste to the recipe above.
- grated Parmesan or Romano cheese (approximately 3 Tbsp.)
- garlic powder or fresh garlic (approximately 1 Tbsp. garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced)
- fresh or dried parsley flakes (1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes or 4 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley)
- fresh or dried oregano (1/4 tsp. dried or 1 tsp. fresh chopped oregano)
- fresh or dried basil (1/4 tsp. dried or 1 tsp. fresh chopped basil)
You may find you want to double each of these fresh bread crumb recipes and store in an airtight container or good zip-locking bags in the freezer and use as needed. You can use the bread crumbs right out of the freezer. Just measure out what you need and then put the container of homemade bread crumbs right back in the freezer.