Learn how to make homemade breadcrumbs from scratch for a healthy alternative to store-bought breadcrumbs and to reduce food waste in the kitchen!
I have this problem when I make bread. For some reason, I habitually leave out the salt. Not on purpose of course, but I just forget!
Just imagine, you’ve made it to the end of the long process of making homemade bread. The kitchen smells divine. The bread has finally cooled. You slice into your beautiful loaf, mouth-watering. Finally, you sink your teeth into a soft, warm piece of…flavorless bread.
It is seriously such a letdown! My husband and kids are usually so kind as to slather their unsalted slices of bread with butter and jelly and cheerfully gobble them up, but I just can’t even bring myself to eat it.
This is where the humble breadcrumb saves the day for me! My one consolation when I make unsalted bread is that I can make breadcrumbs.
Homemade breadcrumbs are a great way to use up any homemade bread that hasn’t turned out quite right. And when you’re learning to make bread, there are going to be loaves, lots of loaves, like that. Even when you make bread regularly, it still happens!
Why Make Homemade Breadcrumbs from Scratch?
1. Homemade breadcrumbs are a delicious, texture-enhancing addition to meatballs (check out my recipe for Healthy Homemade Italian Meatballs), salmon patties, meatloaf, hamburgers and many other dishes.
2. They are a healthier alternative to conventional, store-bought breadcrumbs. When you make them yourself, you can make them as healthy as the bread you choose to use! The healthiest option is making them from homemade bread, but I’ve also used whole wheat sandwich bread from the store too.
3. Making breadcrumbs is a great way to salvage a homemade bread loaf fail. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…
4. You can reduce food waste by toasting and blending a loaf of bread into breadcrumbs before it goes bad.
5. Save money! Homemade breadcrumbs are a cheaper option than the store-bought version, especially if you’re using homemade bread.
Simple Ingredients + Simple Process
The hardest part about making breadcrumbs from scratch is lugging the food processor up on the counter top. The rest is a breeze! You are literally using ONE ingredient plus a few basic kitchen tools to whip these up.
When I’m having trouble finding the motivation to pull out the food processor, I try to remember all the why’s for making breadcrumbs. The two biggest ones for me are saving a bad loaf of homemade bread and avoiding unnecessary food additives.
I also try to go ahead and process something else while I’ve got the food processor out on the counter top, like falafel ingredients, carrots and zucchini for homemade meatballs, or cabbage for sauerkraut.
Kitchen Tools You’ll Need
Bread – any kind you have on hand will do! Use homemade bread for the true “made-from-scratch” version.
Watch Me Make Homemade Breadcrumbs From Scratch
Simple Process for Making Homemade Breadcrumbs From Scratch
1. Preheat oven – no hard and fast rule here. I usually go low at 350 degrees, so I don’t burn them!
2. Cube or slice your bread.
3. Spread bread out onto baking sheet.
4. Place baking sheet into oven and let toast for 10-15 minutes. I like to check the bread cubes and stir them around after about 10 minutes and put them back in if they need it. You want the bread to be pretty dry and toasted but not burnt.
5. Pull bread out of oven and let cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes.
6. Place bread into food processor and blend until fine. I usually have to stop and stir them mid-way through to make sure all the large pieces get blended.
7. Use immediately in desired dish, store in refrigerator if using in the near future, or store in freezer to be used later.
Tips for Storing Homemade Breadcrumbs
If you are not using your breadcrumbs right away, you can either store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a week or in the freezer for about 3 months.
I avoid storing these at room temperature for more than a day to prevent them from getting stale or moldy.
My preference is to make a large batch and store them in the freezer. They don’t really stick together when frozen, so it’s easy to measure out the amount I need and put the rest back in the freezer.
Recipe for Making Homemade Breadcrumbs From Scratch
- Bread - any type, any amount
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees – no hard and fast rule here. I usually go low so I don’t burn them!
- Cube or slice your bread.
- Spread bread out onto baking sheet.
- Place baking sheet into oven and let bread toast for 10-15 minutes. I like to check the bread cubes and stir them around after about 10 minutes and put them back in if they need it. You want the bread to be pretty dry and toasted but not burnt.
- Pull bread out of oven and let cool on baking sheet for about 5 minutes.
- Place bread into food processor and blend until fine. I usually have to stop and stir them mid-way through to make sure all the large pieces get blended.
- Use immediately in desired dish, store in refrigerator if using in the near future, or store in freezer to be used later.
- Use homemade bread for the true from-scratch version
- These breadcrumbs work great to enhance texture in meatballs, meatloaf, burgers, and salmon patties!