Today’s topic: What do I do with leftover bread that has dried out?
One answer: Make homemade breadcrumbs!
Over the past two years, I have been slowly working my way through my pantry, replacing processed, packaged food items for homemade alternatives.
Bread crumbs were high on the hit list. After all, I was paying five bucks at New Seasons in exchange for breadcrumbs! Something was clearly wrong with this picture. I started making my own to use in our very favorite Raw Tuscan Kale Salad and Quinoa Patties, along with good ol’ standards like breading or meatloaf. You can even spread a thin layer of fine breadcrumbs on the bottom crust of pies before adding the fruit. It keeps the crust from getting soggy and the pie from getting runny; you won’t even notice the crumbs are in there.
Homemade breadcrumbs are about as easy as it gets. And they are a huge improvement over the store bought version, which either cost too much or taste like a cross between sand and bread. Or have a ridiculously long ingredient list. Seriously? They are breadcrumbs. Let’s keep this cheap and simple.
No-Knead Bread tastes best the first few days after baking because it doesn’t contain any fats, like oil or butter, to keep it soft. After day three, it makes great toast, croutons, French toast, or breadcrumbs. I love having fresh homemade bread for a few days, then using every last bit up for other things.
And if you haven’t made this bread yet? It’s time to try it out; you can do it! We have received hundreds of comments from amateur bakers who have had success with this method. It’s your turn!
You can make breadcrumbs with any dried out, leftover bread. This is great use for that discounted day-old bread you can find in most grocery stores!
Ok, let’s make breadcrumbs. It’s about as hard as it sounds. Take any bread, turn it into crumbs, dry them out. Done.
First of all, take your leftover, slightly dried out bread and break it into medium-sized pieces, about 1-2″. Place it into a food processor or blender in small batches and pulse until you have small breadcrumbs.
Many techniques call for drying out the bread before you pulse it into crumbs. While this works, it also sounds like you are shaking a metal container full of marbles. Crazy loud. I prefer pulsing the bread first.
Next, spread the bread crumbs out in a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in a pre-heated 300-degree oven. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until bread crumbs are slightly toasted and completely dry.
Remove from the oven and let the breadcrumbs cool completely. Add spices or seasonings, if desired. Transfer to a storage bag or container. Store in the pantry or freezer.
Dry, leftover bread
- Preheat the oven to 300-degrees.
- Break the bread into medium-sized pieces, about 1-2″. Place it into a food processor or blender in small batches and pulse until you have small breadcrumbs.
- Spread the bread crumbs out in a thin, even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until bread crumbs are slightly toasted and completely dry. You could also turn the oven off, and let the crumbs dry out completely in the oven.
- Remove from the oven and let the breadcrumbs cool completely. Add spices or seasonings, if desired. Transfer to a storage bag or container. Store in the pantry or freezer.
This is the first part in an occasional series that will tackle some of the most common questions about No-Knead Bread in greater detail (Check out our FAQ section for basic answers). With over 800 comments, you have asked about everything from shaping to baking to gluten-free options. Let’s get to work!
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