by Tammy Taylor
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Recently I was in the kitchen with our daughter whipping up a brand new concoction that we’d never heard of before – just making up the recipe on the fly, but our dish needed breadcrumbs. Thankfully they’re super easy to make and today I already had a jump start on them. You see I often use a shortcut when making pizza and slice up thick rounds from bread to use as our pizza crust. As luck would have it I had a round loaf of bread that I had sliced up into thick pizza crusts for our homemade pizza the night before, but the rounded top didn’t make the cut (LOL – see what I did there??) So I had chopped it up & sat it aside to begin drying. But now I’ll use that bread to whip up some homemade breadcrumbs in a flash.
Photo Credit: Ashley Ashley
Making your own breadcrumbs is not only an inexpensive alternative to store bought, but super quick & easy too. Now you don’t need the top of a round loaf of bread – you can use any extra or stale bread to make breadcrumbs. For instance although the ‘heel’ of a loaf of bread is my favorite piece, many people don’t like that slice and it ends up being wasted. Don’t waste it – that previously wasted bread makes great breadcrumbs! Here’s how…
I took the extra bread from the night before – it was already sliced thinly and partially dry. It wasn’t a large quantity so I just placed the pieces on my cast iron comal and placed it in the oven. You can use a cookie sheet or even a casserole dish – anything that will allow you to spread your pieces of bread out on the surface without touching each other. I turned the oven on for about 1 minute to allow it heat up and then I turned it off again, that would be enough heat to thoroughly dry these pieces of bread. Making sure your bread is completely dry helps keep it from molding in storage.
When the oven cooled I pulled the dried bread out and placed it in a *coffee grinder that I keep for just this purpose. (Wanna know a secret? I actually have three coffee grinders – one strictly for coffee beans, one for dry herbs and this one for breadcrumbs. I think these grinders are so versatile! Shhhh, don’t tell anyone my secret…)
With a few quick pulses – bibbidy bobbidy boo! The dried bread was magically transformed to my very own homemade bread crumbs for just the cost of a little unused bread! I especially love that I’ve once again easily reduced food waste in my kitchen simply by turning food that wasn’t used into a food item that is often typically purchased. Score one for the grocery budget and also one for being environmentally friendly. BOOM!
Now if you like, you can flavor your breadcrumbs by tossing in dried herbs along with your dried bread cubes. Maybe some rosemary or thyme, whatever flavor you like! I typically leave my breadcrumbs unflavored so I can use them in a wide variety of dishes. It’s a required ingredient in RancherMan’s favorite Potato Cakes or fish croquettes and also often sprinkled on the top of various casseroles so I typically have unflavored breadcrumbs stored in a glass canning jar in the pantry just waiting to be used.
Give it a try!
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