Around my house, french bread is as much of staple to most of our meals as salt is. We eat it with just about everything, either dipped in our special mix of oil and seasonings, slathered up with butter, or used to sop up tasty soups and juices from stews. All that bread has a small downside (besides the carb overload!). We end up with quite a bit of crusty and hard ends of bread that nobody wants to eat.
I hate wasting bread, especially when it is my Basic French Bread, so one day when I was about to toss yet another bag of ends and crusty parts of the bread I decided to do something with the ends. I happened to be almost out of breadcrumbs and low on motivation to leave the house, so I decided that the ends would become breadcrumbs!
This process is quite simple, although you do need a food processor to get the crumbs chopped down to the right size. I used a small one for a long time and just worked in batches, but finally broke down and started hauling out my big one so I could process most of the bread bits at once.
If you do not have time or lots of bread ends at home you can purchase bakery french bread from your local grocery store. It’s best to use day old bread (which is usually sold at a discount) or allow the bread to sit for a day or two before making the breadcrumbs. Now go haul out the food processor, harden some bread and let’s make breadcrumbs!
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour | Makes: 2-3 cups breadcrumbs
- 2-3 cups old bread, roughly torn into small pieces (French or bakery loaf bread is best)
- olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a food processor, add cubes of bread until 3/4 way full and pulse in 10-15 second intervals, stopping to stir bread
- Pulse until bread is crumbly and coarse
- Add olive oil to preference and pulse quickly to combine
- Season with salt and pepper and pulse quickly to combine
- Taste and adjust seasoning oil to your preference
- Spread in a thin layer on a large cookie sheet
- Repeat process if necessary with remaining bread cubes
- Drizzle olive oil over breadcrumbs on cookie sheet
- Bake in oven for 15 minutes, stirring once about halfway through cook time. They will be done when the crumbs are dried and golden in color
- Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes then store in an airtight container in your pantry for up to three months.
- These tasty breadcrumbs can be used in almost any recipe that requires breadcrumbs. I have found them to be amazing for fried chicken and as a rich and crunchy topping on a casserole.
- If you make a batch and find you will not use all of the breadcrumbs at once, they can be cooled fully and stored in the freezer for later use. They should be used within 6 months of freezing.