Homemade bread crumbs are so dang easy to make, you’ll never buy them at the store again. All you need is a loaf of bread.
Growing up, I had no idea that you could make your own breadcrumbs. I just assumed they always came out of a container.
But let’s think about this for a minute. We’re talking about crumbs. From bread. As in, those things you sweep up off the floor after eating a piece of toast. Yet companies sell them for money by packaging them into a nice canister.
I think many of us have become so accustomed to buying prepared, packaged foods from the store that we don’t realize how simple they are to make from scratch. This was definitely true for me, until my husband and I started making things ourselves when we were first married to get by on our very tight budget.
Now that I know it’s so stinking easy to make homemade bread crumbs, I never buy them anymore. Catherine: 1, Grocery Store: 0.
How to make homemade bread crumbs
All you need is a loaf of bread. Really, any loaf of bread will do. Basic white bread will give you the most classic taste, but other varieties will work just fine.
I like to made a batch of bread crumbs anytime I find myself with undesirable bread. Undesirable bread = stale bread we forgot to eat, homemade bread that I somehow messed up, all the butt-end pieces of bread that I’ve collected in the freezer over time, etc.
Step 1: Start with dry slices of bread.
Lay your bread in slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and set out overnight to dry. This will make it easier to break it down into crumbs. If the bread slices are still a little soft after sitting out, stick the baking sheet in the oven for a few minutes to toast them.
Step 2: Make crumbs.
Pulse the bread in a food processor until the crumbs reach your desired consistency. Alternatively, you can stick the bread slices in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
Step 3: Lightly toast the bread crumbs.
Now that you have bread crumbs, gently toast them to make sure they’re good and dry. Soft bread crumbs won’t keep as long and won’t add the right texture to your food. Five to seven minutes in the oven should do the trick.
Types of Bread Crumbs
- To make regular bread crumbs, pulse the bread in the food processor until finely ground.
- For panko bread crumbs, leave the crumbs a little bigger. Traditional panko gets its white color by removing the bread crusts, but I’m inclined to leave them on and avoid wasting.
- To make Italian bread crumbs, add a little Italian seasoning.
I don’t add any extra salt to my bread crumbs. Bread already contains salt, so it’s not really necessary.
Homemade Bread Crumbs
- Food processor
- 1 loaf of bread any kind
- Lay bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Set out to dry overnight.
- If you're using fresh bread, it might still feel a little soft after sitting out. If this is the case, stick the baking sheet of sliced bread into the oven and toast for 5 to 10 minutes at 350° F.
- Pulse bread in a food processor until the crumbs reach the desired consistency. Alternatively, put bread slices in a ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Lay the bread crumbs in a single layer on two baking sheets. Toast them in the oven at 350° F for 5 to 7 minutes, or until dry and just beginning to turn golden. Halfway through toasting, rotate the baking sheets and turn over the crumbs with a spatula. Don't leave your breadcrumbs unattended in the oven… they can burn quickly!
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- If you don’t use breadcrumbs often, you don’t need to make a big batch at once. You can make breadcrumbs with just 1 or 2 slices of bread to toss into whatever dish you’re making.