A word on crumbs

My latest freezer stash: (clockwise from top left) whole grain breadcrumbs, mixed crumbs from homemade pretzel chips and leftover garlic bread, cornbread crumbs

No, not the crumbs on the floor, the counter or between the couch cushions, but your very own, homemade breadcrumbs. Have you ever read the ingredients on the side of a box of seasoned breadcrumbs? If you haven’t, don’t. For a seemingly simple product, the ingredients take up half the box, and some of them are unrecognizable. Homemade breadcrumbs take hardly any time to make, use bread you were going to throw away anyway and taste a thousand times better than anything you can buy in the store.

Start with any bread product you are going to throw away – heels of the loaf no one will eat, bread that is going stale, crackers that weren’t your favorite, homemade bread that was too dense or won’t hold together for a sandwich (you bakers know what I am talking about!) or the last piece of bread in a loaf that gets left because it isn’t enough to make a sandwich. Take whatever you have and break it up into approximately bite-sized pieces. Spread the pieces out on a baking sheet and set it somewhere out of the way for a couple of days, or until the bread is completely dry. Skip this step if you are using crackers.

Once your bread is dry, pulse it in a food processor or blender until you have crumbs. If you don’t have kitchen power tools, put the bread pieces in a zip-top bag and bash away with a rolling pin or meat mallet until you have crumbs. If you know you are going this route, break your bread into smaller pieces before you dry it. Store in a container in the pantry for several weeks, or in the freezer for longer-term storage. Remember, your crumbs don’t have any preservatives. Yay!

Use your crumbs in any recipe that calls for breadcrumbs, from breaded fish or chicken to toppings for casseroles to meatloaf or meatballs. Use your imagination! Be sure to post in the comments what you use to make your breadcrumbs and what recipes you use them in.

Tilapia breaded with homemade cornbread crumbs and pan-fried in a little olive oil. Even picky eater preteen eats this!

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8 thoughts on “A word on crumbs

  1. Sarah, isn’t it fun ? I always make my own breadcrumbs. I do not separate them. Just grind up whatever bread I have left and it all goes into 1 jar. Then when I make croquettes I use a lot of it and then add new again.

  2. Sarah, My husband John introduced me to making our own breadcrumbs about 10 years ago. We mix everything together and he will add a spring of some dried herbs too. We keep them in a really big glass jar, with a lid like on a mason jar.

    I take them to my daughter when I visit and now she doesn’t have to buy breadcrumbs anymore!

  3. I usually mix all of mine too, but Calvin (my son) really wanted the garlic breadcrumbs kept separate from the rest (I stretched them by mixing them with the pretzel chip crumbs) and I didn’t want to mix the cornbread crumbs with regular breadcrumbs – too much of a taste difference.

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