How to make breadcrumbs, fresh or dried, with or without a food processor. Recipe for homemade Italian breadcrumbs included.
How to make breadcrumbs at home?
Did you ever make your own breadcrumbs? I do it all the time, I think I haven’t bought any in years. Well, except panko, they are something else.
But when it comes to regular dried or fresh breadcrumbs, I never bother to buy any. Not that they are not good, I used to buy them at the baker’s, made only from bread and free from preservatives. And not that they are expensive either, they always very cheap.
But there are times when I either bought too much bread or we ate something else for dinner, or whatever. There are always times when you just have too much of it. So, that’s the time for homemade breadcrumbs, I would never consider throwing anything away.
There are two kinds you can make: dried or fresh. And two ways you can make them, with or without a food processor.
What bread to use?
- Any kind you happen to have leftover.
- If a recipe specifically requires fresh white breadcrumbs, then I buy some white bread and let it a day or so on the counter.
- Otherwise, I use the regular German mixed bread, which is made with both whole wheat and white flour. Or with a mixture of rye, white, and whole wheat flour. If I happen to have leftover toast, I use that too.
- What I would not use is supermarket sliced bread, the really soft, fluffy, and sweet one. If I would use that, then definitely in combination with another tastier sort, I cannot stand its sweetness.
How to make breadcrumbs with a food processor?
- Most of the time, I make them out of stale bread. The easiest way is to use a good food processor.
- Slice the bread, and cut it into small cubes. Leave the crust on.
- Place the cubes on a tray and leave the tray on the counter until they are completely dry and hard. You should definitely cube the bread before drying it out, it is difficult to break the slices into pieces once they are hard.
- Make sure that the food processor you are using can cope with dry bread. I use a Thermomix.
- Once the pieces are dry, place them into the food processor in small batches. Don’t fill the food processor too much, making smaller batches is better.
- First of all, it would not overstretch your food processor’s capacity. Then it will allow you to control the degree of coarseness, you can decide if they should be finer or coarser. Pulse until you have achieved the desired consistency.
- Use bread that is 1-2 days old without letting it become completely dry.
- Break or cut it into smaller pieces, place in the food processor, and pulse to achieve the desired coarseness.
- You can also use a good immersion blender, however when making the dried breadcrumbs, I prefer to use the stronger food processor, I always worry about the blender not being able to cope with the dried bread.
- When using the stick blender, only process small batches at a time.
How to make breadcrumbs without a food processor?
- Place small batches of the dried bread into good quality freezer bags.
- Close the bag, set it on a hard surface, and crush the bread with the bottom of a heavy pan or a sturdy rolling pin.
- And you can also make fresh breadcrumbs without a food processor.
- In this case, place the sliced bread to freezer bags and freeze until solid, at least 2-3 hours or longer.
- You can freeze bread leftovers if you plan to make fresh breadcrumbs sometimes in the future.
- Once the bread is frozen, grate the slices on the grater.
How to make Italian breadcrumbs at home?
- Add fine sea salt, pepper, and herbs.
- You could either use a ready Italian herb mixture and just add salt, pepper, and maybe some onion and garlic powder.
- Or the typical dried Italian herbs, like oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley.
- For a French breadcrumb seasoning, mix about 1 cup breadcrumbs with about 1 ½ teaspoon Herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper.
How to store?
- Fresh homemade breadcrumbs will keep for several days in the refrigerator. They should be stored in airtight containers.
- If you have a larger quantity, place them (either plain or seasoned) into freezer bags, flatten them in the bag (you should not have a lump), close the bags well, and place in the freezer. They will keep for several months.
- Whenever you need some, take the required quantity out of the bag and let thaw on the counter for a few minutes, they will defrost very quickly.
- Dried homemade breadcrumbs will keep for several weeks at room temperature, stored in an airtight container.
- They will also keep longer if frozen. Pack, defrost and use just as described above.
And here are some recipes using some of these breadcrumbs:
How to Make Breadcrumbs (With or Without Food Processor)
- Dried breadcrumbs:
- stale bread mixed bread: rye, whole wheat, white flour or white bread
- Fresh breadcrumbs:
- 1-2 days old bread mixed bread: rye, whole wheat, white flour or white bread or as required by the recipe
- Italian breadcrumbs:
- 1 cup dried breadcrumbs or 1 ½ to 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme optional
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary optional
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Cut the stale bread into small cubes. Spread the cubes onto a baking tray and let them on the counter until completely dry, preferably overnight.
- Place the bread cubes into the food processor. If you have a larger quantity of bread, process the bread cubes in several batches. Pulse until you achieve the desired degree of coarseness.
- If making dried breadcrumbs without a food processor, place the bread cubes (in batches) into good quality freezer bags. Seal the bag and crush the bread with the bottom of a frying pan or a sturdy rolling pin.
- Keep in airtight containers at room temperature for several weeks. If frozen, the breadcrumbs keep for several months. Remove the required quantity from the freezer bag and let defrost for a few minutes on the counter.
- Break or cut the bread into smaller pieces. Pulse in the food processor to achieve the desired level of coarseness.
- If making fresh breadcrumbs without the food processor, place the bread pieces into a freezer bag and freeze for about 2-3 hours or until ready to use. Grate the frozen bread slices on a grater.
- The fresh breadcrumbs keep airtight in the fridge for several days. If frozen, the breadcrumbs keep for several months. Remove the required quantity from the freezer bag and let defrost for a few minutes on the counter.
- Mix one cup dried breadcrumbs or 1 ½ to 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs with the rest of the listed spices and herbs.