While buying pre-made bread crumbs at the store is easy, it’s not much harder to make your own at home. All it takes is some bread, a food processer, a baking sheet and an oven.
For bread, the type you use is up to you. If your household isn’t fond of bread crusts, save them instead of throwing them out, freeze them in a bag, then use them for making bread crumbs instead of buying a loaf specifically for making bread crumbs.
For the best (and easiest) results, use bread that’s somewhere between soft and hard, as it will shred more effectively in the food processor.
If you’re making dry bread crumbs, place any bread that’s still not quite dry on a baking sheet in the oven, and bake at 300 F until the pieces are dry and lightly browned. Let them cool before proceeding.
To turn the dry bread into crumbs, first break the slices into manageable pieces, then put in a food processor (ideally) or blender and process until the bread has been reduced to fine crumbs. Empty the food processer and repeat until all the bread has been used.
Once you’ve got your homemade crumbs, use them as you would store-bought dry crumbs. Store them in an airtight container in your pantry or freezer. If the bread is very dry, the crumbs should keep for about 2-3 months in cool, dry conditions, or slightly longer in the freezer. Bread crumbs that aren’t completely dry will mould if left in the pantry, so if in doubt, freeze them. If you’re using whole-wheat bread, it’s best to freeze your bread crumbs to reduce the risk of them going rancid.
If a recipe calls for fresh, soft bread crumbs, use day-old bread that hasn’t been toasted and process in the food processor until it has been reduced to the correct size of soft crumbs. Some recipes require these soft crumbs instead of the dry variety. They don’t store well, so it’s best to make them fresh and use them right away.