I realize that of all the recipes I could share, breadcrumbs may seem like the least cool thing. Plus, do a search on the internet and there are thousands of different ways people make breadcrumbs. Yet, I’m sharing anyway. Primarily because it’s less important how you make breadcrumbs. It’s more important that you do it and you have a few ways in your repertoire to use them.
I’m really the only bread-eater in our house and while I try and freeze bread, I still end up with a stale, end-of-loaf piece. Of course, these breadcrumbs don’t have to wait until you have old bread. Make them with fresh bread- it’s just as good!
1: As a Topping
I’d leading with breadcrumbs as a topping because I’ve been rather obsessed with this as of late. Homemade breadcrumbs can have such a wonderful flavor. They go perfectly with eggs, salads, and soups. I keep a container of breadcrumbs on the counter to sprinkle on my breakfast egg skillets and use in place of croutons in homemade salads.
Try them in:
Grilled Celeriac with White Bean Puree
Pesto Asparagus Egg Skillet
2. As a ‘Soaking’ Agent
I’ve always heard breadcrumbs work as a binding agent. I could see how that could be correlated but breadcrumbs soak up liquid, which is especially helpful in vegetarian cooking. Think of you favorite vegetable cakes or lentil bites. The breadcrumbs help ‘beef’ up the texture and work with the eggs to be the foundation of most of those recipes.
Try them in:
Curry Chickpea Burgers with Coconut Cabbage Slaw
3. As a Crust
Finally, breadcrumbs make for a wonderful coating. While this technique is mostly used in meat, vegetables can benefit from a lovely coating of breadcrumbs. In fact, I’ve been making baked/breaded cauliflower for years as an easy/healthy snack. Breadcrumbs also work well as a crust/topping like in casseroles and cassoulets.
Try them in:
Root Vegetable Cassoulet
White Bean Chard Bake
Baked Cauliflower Bites
Herbs: Breadcrumbs are the perfect place to use dried herbs. Try adding dried thyme, rosemary, parsley, tarragon, and/or sage.
Gluten-Free: Pick up a loaf of your favorite gluten-free bread and use the same recipe.
Ghee: Instead of the olive oil, use melted ghee for a nice flavor-boost. I love using ghee-made breadcrumbs on salads.
Easy homemade breadcrumbs. Perfect for making if you are trying to use up leftover/old bread.
2 large fist-sized chunks of whole grain/sourdough bread (ends work great for this)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Heat your oven to 325˚F. Take the chunks of bread and grate them using a cheese grater. Alternatively, place smaller pieces in a food processor and pulse until the bread is in small pieces.
Place the breadcrumbs on a sheet tray and toss with the olive oil and salt.
Bake the breadcrumbs until browning and any larger pieces are crisp, 8 or so minutes. Take will all depend on how large your breadcrumb pieces are- starting checking around 5 minutes. Shake the tray occasionally during the baking process.
Let the breadcrumbs cool and store in an airtight jar at room temperature for up to two weeks (just make sure the breadcrumbs are completely dried).
Tips + Tricks: You can make breadcrumbs without the oil, I just prefer the flavor and texture of the breadcrumbs toasted with oil and salt.
Keywords: homemade breadcrumbs, leftover bread uses