Why buy bread crumbs when it’s so darn easy to make them yourself?

I make both plain and seasoned, out of both white and whole wheat bread, in traditional style itty bitty crumbs and the larger “panko” style.  I have found the subtle differences to enhance different recipes, so I will share them here with you.

The differences in the end product depend on how you process them.

For traditional bread crumbs, you dry the bread first, then run them through a food processor.

For panko style crumbs, run the fresh bread slices through the food processor to make large crumbs, then you dry them in the oven that way.

I like to do things quickly, so I will heat my oven up to 350F.  I lay the bread in a single layer on cookie sheets, put them in for about 10 minutes, flip, put them in another 10 minutes and they are usually done.  If you want to avoid flipping, you can set a rack over the cookie sheet to raise the bread and expose both sides to air.  If you use stale bread, it’s drier, so it will dry quicker.  Fresh bread will take a little longer to get the moisture out, but you want completely dry bread – if you break it in half you want it to be a crisp break and dry all the way through.

If I am making panko crumbs, I keep the oven lower at about 250F.  I lay the breadcrumbs in an even layer in an ungreased, dry cookie sheet. The outer edges brown very quickly so I want to keep an eye on everything.  Check them frequently and mix them around.  They are done when completely dry, you want them to crumble to bits in your hand if you squeeze them.

To make seasoned breadcrumbs, I mix the following seasoning with 1 cup of breadcrumbs.

  • 1/2 tsp salt, parsley flakes and garlic powder.
  • 1/4 tsp each onion powder, oregano, basil and black pepper.

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