Every household knows what it’s like to find a stash of forgotten, stale bread in the pantry. Instead of chucking out the last slices of the leftover bread, turn them into an opportunity to create a new product: bread crumbs!
Homemade bread crumbs are really easy to make and taste so much better than store bought ones. You can control how coarse or fine you want them, and even make flavoured batches. The result is less waste and more money in your pocket.
How easy is to make homemade bread crumbs?
Simple as 1-2-3:
- Process stale bread in a food processor, as coarse or fine as you’d like
- Dry/bake/toast the bread crumbs in the oven or in a frying pan
- Cool and store in an airtight container, fridge or freezer.
Alternatively, you can bake or dry thinly sliced bread in the oven, snap the slices into smaller pieces and process in the food processor.
How to make bread crumbs without a food processor?
If you don’t have a food processor, tear or cube stale bread first, bake the pieces in the oven, then smash them using a mortar and pestle or rolling pin.
Should I cut the crust off?
The crust can be used, too, so no need to cut it off. Some food processors can’t chop sourdough crust that is too tough. In that instance, it’s better to bake the bread cubes or pieces first, then process them.
What type of bread do you use for bread crumbs?
Most types of bread are suitable to make bread crumbs: white, crusty, sourdough bread, bagels, sweet bread or buns. I would not advise using bread with fillings like olive or fruit loaf due to their moisture content.
White yeasted bread makes finer bread crumbs that are neutral in taste. Meanwhile, sourdough bread crumbs are more rustic and flavoursome.
How to use bread crumbs in recipes?
Most often I use the bread crumbs to make my homemade chicken nuggets. In a similar fashion, I like to coat fish in bread crumbs when pan frying. For that, I flavour my homemade bread crumbs with herbs and lemon zest.
Another use is to make crunchy pasta bake topping with bread crumbs. I prefer coarse bread crumbs made from my sourdough bread for this recipe.
Here are some further ideas:
Savoury dishes- make homemade stuffing, add to meatball or tuna patties mixture, sprinkle on salads or pasta (poor man’s parmesan cheese), coat croquettes, make Italian bread crumbs, add to thicken stews or soups, coat schnitzel, and so on.
Sweet dishes- make bread and butter pudding, coat potato & plum dumplings, make apple crumble topping, etc.
How to store bread crumbs?
Store dry bread crumbs in an airtight container or a bag in the pantry. Make sure there isn’t a lot of air in the jar.
Alternatively, store your bread crumbs in the fridge, or pour them into a freezer bag, squeeze the excess air and freeze them. If they turn soft when defrosted, toast them in the oven before using.
How long do homemade bread crumbs last?
Stored in the pantry, bread crumbs will last for about a month before getting softer or stale. In the freezer, bread crumbs will last longer, up to three months.
If you used bread with oil in it to make the crumbs or pan fried them, they will eventually turn rancid when stored in the pantry. Use within a week.
How to make fresh bread crumbs?
Some recipes call for fresh bread crumbs, like the Thai meatballs I often make. You can still use stale bread (it doesn’t have to be fresh), but skip baking or drying the bread crumbs in the oven. Use fresh bread crumbs immediately or store them in the fridge/freezer.
What are Italian bread crumbs?
Italian bread crumbs are simply plain bread crumbs flavoured with dried herbs and spices. It’s very easy to mix your own homemade combination using dry bread crumbs you made. Typically salt, pepper, and herbs like basil, oregano and garlic powder are added and mixed.
If using fresh herbs, process dried bread pieces or dried bread crumbs together. Store in the fridge if not used immediately.
How to make very fine bread crumbs?
If your food processor doesn’t process the bread finely, but your recipe calls for fine bread crumbs like for coating schnitzel or dumplings, make the bread crumbs as per instructions. Once completely cooled, process your coarse bread crumbs once more to get as fine bread crumbs as desired.
For more ideas on how to use up stale bread, please check our Stale Bread Recipes post.
Homemade Bread Crumbs
- left over stale bread or bread pieces
- Preheat the oven to 140-150° C
- Cut the stale bread or break the slices into smaller pieces
- Pulse in the food processor to coarse or fine
- Spread the bread crumbs eveny onto a baking tray
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, mixing occasionally
- When done, bread crumbs should be dry completely
- Cool and store in an airtight container or bag in the pantry, fridge or freezer