Keeping with the theme of waste nothing, today’s post shares another way to use up bread crusts, ends or stale bread:
Make your own breadcrumbs.
You save money because you don’t have to buy breadcrumbs.
You’re potentially getting a better quality product, depending on the bread you eat (if you eat gluten free bread, then this is a cheap way to make gluten free breadcrumbs).
And you’re reducing waste by not throwing out the crusts the kids don’t eat, the ends of the bread or bread that have gone stale.
Making your own dried breadcrumbs is an easy process.
Store crusts, ends and stale bread in the freezer. Once you’ve got a bag full, dry them in the oven. Blitz and they’re done.
HOW TO MAKE DRIED BREADCRUMBS
1. Cut crusts off before buttering or toasting bread. Save these in a bread bag or airtight container in the freezer along with the ends if you don’t eat those.
Make sure the bread bag is sealed well, otherwise your breadcrumbs will have a freezer taste. Yuk.
2. When you’ve collected a bag or container full, spread the crusts out on a baking tray. If you’re drying ends as well, cut the ends into cubes.
Place in the oven at 100°C for 10 – 40 minutes or until dried out. Test every 10 minutes or so. The time depends on your oven, whether it’s fan-forced, how ‘moist’ the bread is to start with, how big the crusts are.
3. Once the crusts are dry, turn off the oven and leave the tray in the oven until it gets cool. This helps make sure the crusts are completely dry. If you live in a humid climate or it’s raining, then your crusts won’t absorb moisture in the atmosphere.
4. Once cool, break up into a food processor and pulse until you get the desired breadcrumb consistency. If you don’t have a food processor, a stick blender will probably work too, or you could use a mortar and pestle or just put the crusts in a sturdy plastic bag and bang with a rolling pin.
5. Place breadcrumbs in an airtight container. Don’t cover until they are completely cool otherwise steam will make them wet again. Some people store these in the pantry, just check for mould before eating. A safer bet is in the fridge or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Use as a coating for tuna rissoles, schnitzel or whatever other recipe calls for breadcrumbs.