Making your own breadcrumbs is a great way to repurpose stale bread that you won’t have to waste. Making your own ensures they will be made with fiber-rich, whole-grain breads. Freeze leftover bread in a ziplock bag until you are ready to bake. Your homemade crumbs can be frozen, too, for up to six months.
Breadcrumbs can be fresh or dried. The two are not the same and should not be used as substitutes for each other. Dried breadcrumbs can be purchased in stores. Both are easy to make at home from leftover bread.
For fresh (or soft) breadcrumbs, just tear the bread into pieces, put it into a blender or food processor, and pulse until the crumbs are the size you want. It’s best to use stale bread for breadcrumbs. One standard-size slice of bread will turn into about one-half cup of crumbs. If using a blender, do one slice at a time.
Dried breadcrumbs are made the same way, but the bread is dried first by baking the slices in a slow (300 degree) oven until it’s completely dried and toasted, about 20 minutes. Let the slices cool before crumbing. If you must substitute dried breadcrumbs for fresh ones, use only two-thirds the amount called for.
You can add flavorings to crumbs to be used to top casseroles or coat skinless chicken breasts or cutlets. Try fresh or dried herbs, lemon zest or sesame seeds.
Article copyright © 2014 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart © Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.