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We have a few guidelines related to food on our homestead, four of which are directly met by this simple process of making bread crumbs out of stale bread:
1. Eat delicious healthy food;
2. Make as much of our own food as possible;
3. Don't waste food;
4. Don't spend too much money on food.
OK, so you know when you have that heel of the bread and you don't really want to use it for a sandwich but you feel like you shouldn't waste it? Or, when you have a loaf of french bread that is half-used and sits in your bread basket a bit too long and becomes kinda hard? You don't want to throw away (excuse me, compost) these things, but you know you won't really enjoy eating them.
Here's your solution.
Throw that undesirable bread into a large freezer bag and put it in your freezer. Have another one the next week? Add it to the first. Keep doing this until your bag of frozen undesirable bread is full and follow this simple process to make bread crumbs at home!
NOTE: We suggest the gallon-sized bag solution for a few reasons. First, it's just not efficient to make a new batch of bread crumbs every time you have a slice or two, so it makes sense to save it up until you have a good amount to work with. Second, we find that a gallon-sized bag of bread pieces usually ends up filling one sheet pan with chunks and one quart container with crumbs, give or take. This means your process is predictable and you know about how much you'll end up with. Obviously the size of your chunks will effect the final result, but this is a pretty good estimate.
How to Make Bread Crumbs from Frozen Bread
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and place a rack at the middle level.
Step 2: Cube your bread. Use a solid knife to chop your frozen bread into cubes the size of large croutons (you could also do this before you freeze the bread, but really, who has time for that?)
Step 3: Spread your bread cubes in a single layer on a large sheet pan.
Step 4: Bake your cubes for about 1 hour, or until they feel nicely dried out (give them a few stirs about every 20 minutes).
Step 5: Crumb your cubes. Working in batches, process your cubes in the food processor until they are the size bread crumbs that you desire.
Step 6: Contain your bread crumbs. Put your bread crumbs into an air tight container like a yogurt container, take-out quart container, or recycled bread crumb container.
Step 7: Store your bread crumbs. If they are really, truly, dry they will store just fine in the cupboard. But if you want to be extra sure that a little bit of moisture won't ruin the whole batch, you can throw that container right back into the freezer and the crumbs will still work just fine for a variety of recipes, like this tasty black bean burger recipe, for example ;)
Related Products (Affiliate Links)
Here are some of the tools we find useful for this process and many others (because we only post affiliate links to products we LOVE!): the incomparable Cuisinart Food Processor; my go-to vegetable knife from Global; and our favorite baking sheet (or jelly roll pan) from Nordic Ware,.