Are you out of breadcrumbs but need them for a recipe? Been there, friends! Fortunately, there is an easier option than running to the store. Homemade breadcrumbs are super easy to make (just 1 ingredient and 25 minutes), a great way to use up stale (or fresh) bread and keep it in the freezer for months. Moreover, they taste so much better than from the store!
Add them to any recipe that calls for breadcrumbs, including gratins, casseroles, veggie burgers, “meatloaf,” or meatballs. We show you how to make breadcrumbs!
Best bread for breadcrumbs
You can use almost any kind of bread to make breadcrumbs, but for versatility it’s best to use one that is neutral in flavor. During our testing, we found White bread (versus whole wheat or sourdough) to get a more classic and neutral taste. In an emergency, use whatever bread you have around, as long as it isn’t as sweet as cinnamon raisin bread (unless you put breadcrumbs on ice – ooh, recipe idea noted!).
Fresh or stale bread? The older the bread, the better because drier bread makes breadcrumbs in less time. If you use fresher bread, you just need to bake it longer to dry it out.
Can you use frozen bread? Surely! Defrost at room temperature or in the microwave and squeeze out any extra moisture with a clean tea towel or paper towel before baking.
How to make breadcrumbs
Only two required steps, and one optional:
- Baking torn or diced bread to dry it out — you want the bread to be dry but not browned or toasted and not rock hard or soft.
- Turn it into breadcrumbs by means of to blend or using one food processor or blenderor put the bread in a bag and crush it with a rolling pin.
- Optional: To add seasoningsif desired!
Ratio of bread to breadcrumbs
1 slice of bread = 1 cup of diced bread = 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Oil vs. oil-free
We tested with oil vs. no oil and found that breadcrumbs made with oil were slightly more flavorful, but we preferred the convenience, versatility and simplicity of those without oil. The ones without oil are also more like what you’d get at the store, making them easy to mix and match 1:1 in recipes. Plus, they last longer and you don’t have to worry about the oil going rancid.
Should you use the crust?
It depends! If your bread has a harder crust (such as rustic sourdough), remove it. Otherwise, add the rind for the best flavor.
How to make Italian breadcrumbs
For Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, simply add dried Italian herbs (basil + oregano), garlic powder and salt.
They’re delicious in Italian-inspired recipes, including our easy chickpea bolognese, easy pizza burgers, crispy gluten-free eggplant parmesan, and vegan sun-dried tomato and basil meatballs.
What Are Panko Breadcrumbs?
Panko is the Japanese word for breadcrumbs. Most panko bread crumbs are made from crust-free bread and have a unique, coarse texture that is good for breading and frying.
How to store breadcrumbs
As long as you let the bread dry properly, you can store breadcrumbs in an airtight container Bee room temperature for about 1 week. To keep them fresh for longer, it is best to store them in the refrigerator or (better yet!) the freezer. In the freezerthey stay ahead a number of months. Bonus: You don’t need to thaw them before using.
We hope this guide is helpful! It makes breadcrumbs that:
Quick & easy
& SO much better than store bought!
How to use breadcrumbs
They are great whenever you want to have one crunchy topping or coating or to absorb moisture in a dish. You can add them to pasta, soup, stuffing, gratins, casseroles, veggie burgers, “meatloaf” or meatballs, and more.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
portions 3 (1/4-cup servings)
- 3 cups torn or diced bread of your choice (vegan and/or gluten free as needed // 3 slices of sandwich bread yields ~3 cups or 120-180g cubed)
ITALIAN SPICE optional
- 1/2 teaspoon Italian spice herbs (dried basil + oregano)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (163 C).
If you use frozen bread, defrost it in the microwave or let it thaw at room temperature and squeeze out the excess moisture with a clean tea towel or paper towel.
Tear or chop the bread into small pieces and place in a single layer on a bare baking sheet (use more baking sheets if necessary). Bake for 10 minutes, shake and bake for another 5-15 minutes until completely dry and firm to the touch. The baking time depends on the moisture content, type and age of the bread. Gluten-free bread is usually drier and requires a shorter baking time.
Place the dry bread in a food processor or blender and pulse/blend until only small crumbs remain. If you don’t have either, there are a few workable but messier options: you can place the bread in a tall pot and pulse with an immersion blender or place the bread in a plastic bag, seal it and use a rolling pin to break it up. the bread into small pieces.
ITALIAN SPICE (optional): Add Italian spice seasoning, garlic powder and salt and pulse/blend again. Or add to a bowl and stir.
Use these breadcrumbs in gratins, casseroles, veggie burgers, “meatloaf”, meatballs and more!
Let cool completely before placing in an airtight container. They will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
*Nutritional information is a rough estimate calculated with white bread and no optional ingredients. 1 portion (1/4 cup) of breadcrumbs has the same nutritional value as ~1 slice of bread you use.
Portion: 1 quarter-cup portion Calories: 114 Carbohydrates: 21.3 g Egg white: 3.8 g Fat: 1.4 g Saturated fat: 0.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3 g trans fat: 0 g cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 211 mg Potassium: 54 mg Fiber: 1.2 g Sugar: 2.4 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 62 mg Iron: 1.5 mg