Survival-aimed preparing your own breadcrumbs is a fantastic solution that can help you save still good bread leftovers instead of throwing them away. It is the first principle of survivalist cooking, though. Also, it will improve many dishes, adding tasty and crispy crumbs to them. Bread crumbs can be used for a wide assortment of dishes. But how to prepare these delicious crumbs? Will one need any special cookware, like one for camping or homestead? Will it be possible in the off-grid situation? In this article, we will tell you everything about it! We’ll give you plenty of helpful tips — how to mill bread in a food processor, make toasted bread crumbs in an oven or a skillet, keep them afterward, and many other things! Also, here you’ll find a simple and yummy recipe for traditional Italian bread crumbs!
Unlike some freeze-dried dishes, bread crumbs are extremely simple to prepare. For doing it, every sort of bread is suitable. Lots of people find homemade breadcrumbs way tastier than ready, store-bought ones. Another advantage of preparing DIY bread crumbs is that you can choose their size, making them either big and coarse or small, almost powder-like. Also, you may add any spices or seasonings that you’d like — for instance, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, lemon zest, or your favorite dried herbs. The field for experiments is vast!
Preparing easy homemade bread crumbs
So, how to prepare DIY bread crumbs for your emergency food storage? As we’ve already said, it’s extremely simple. Here’s a recipe for preparing such crumbs.
- Cut a loaf of bread (or a piece of it) into little bits — for instance, bread slices or cubed bread. All of them need to be as small as possible because any processor grinds smaller bits way easier.
- Pour bread pieces into a home food processor and pulse till the desired consistency is obtained.
- Spread the crumbs on a rimmed baking sheet or a cookie sheet. Put this sheet in an oven.
- Set the temperature to 149°C, or 300°F, and bake for 8-10 minutes
- Check whether they’ve become dry and moderately toasted. Stir sometimes.
- Take the baking sheet with the freshly-toasted bread crumbs out from the oven and leave it on a table or a shelf to cool down.
Alternative ways of making breadcrumbs
Maybe, you’ve asked: “What should I do if I wish to make homemade breadcrumbs but haven’t bought a food processor yet?”. There’s no need to worry! It’s just as easy to prepare awesome bread crumbs without using them. Firstly, prepare little bread cubes or bits, and then toast them like croutons. When they’ve cooled down, pour them into a plastic bag and close it tightly. After this, take a rolling pin to crush the bits till they start resembling a powder. In case you don’t have a rolling pin, you can do it with any other suitable object, such as a mallet or a large, heavy pan.
But there are also other methods of preparing bread crumbs without utilizing a food processor. It is possible to do it in a spice grinder or a simple blender. In this case, the technique resembles grinding crumbs in a processor, so there’s no need to describe it in detail.
Another good method of making bread crumbs at home is with the help of a Microplane or a box grater. But it’s suitable only for very hard and stale bread. Older bread is great for this if it isn’t moldy. If you’ve got only soft and freshly-baked bread, leave it to dry for some time (or simply bake it) till it reaches the desired consistency. Before drying, slice it to make the grating much easier.
How to fry homemade breadcrumbs in a pan
Frying homemade bread crumbs on a stovetop is an effective method too. Many people like it even more than on a baking sheet in an oven because they think that it makes crumbs much tastier. Firstly, stir your breadcrumbs with some amount of butter or oil. Olive oil and sunflower oil are the most common variants, although there is a wide assortment of other tasty and healthy oils.
Also, add salt, lemon zest, Italian seasoning, or other spices. Set the heat to a medium or low point. It’s extremely easy to burn crumbs while frying, so watch them super carefully. When their color has become golden brown, turn the heat off and take the toasted bread crumbs down from the stove. It’s also possible to fry breadcrumbs without adding butter or oil, just in a dry skillet.
What bread is it better to use?
What you’ll use for preparing crumbs can depend only on your preferences (and on whichever type of bread you’ve got at home). Besides this, you’re not limited by anything. For instance, you can choose such bread types as sourdough bread, sandwich bread, whole wheat bread, or any last few slices of leftover bread from your dinner. An amazing variant is a rustic bread. It will give dense and yummy crumbs. And, of course, it’s possible to use gluten-free bread. It’s an excellent option for people who follow diets or simply prefer to consume healthier food.
Should you remove the crust?
It isn’t necessary at all. The crust by itself won’t spoil the taste qualities of your breadcrumbs. The only reason to trim it off is maybe if you’d prefer them one-colored. You can prepare a separate portion of crumbs — solely from it. Since crust often contains Maillard browning, it can be super tasty!
How to make breadcrumbs tinier
If you prepare breadcrumbs in an ordinary food processor, they’ll be really small, although not as tiny as those which are sold in shops. So, what if you think they’re too big, and you didn’t want such coarse crumbs? Prepare them as usual, but after that, put them again in the food processor and pulse them till the necessary size is reached. Alternatively, put them into a zippered bag and use a rolling pin to crush them.
Why it’s best to make breadcrumbs small?
If your bread crumbs are small enough, their surface will be larger in relation to the inner part. It means that there’ll be much less moisture in fine breadcrumbs than in coarse breadcrumbs. During toasting, more water will go out. As a result, they’ll be less likely to get stale or moldy.
Crumbs made of frozen bread. Are they possible?
Of course! But in this case, the bread has to be completely thawed. While defrosting, it can release water, so you’ll want to dry it up thoroughly. To do it, leave the bread for some time in a well-ventilated place with a low level of moisture. If the bread doesn’t get dried enough, bake or fry it just like fresh bread.
Fresh bread vs. stale bread. Which one to use?
The most optimal sort of bread for preparing homemade breadcrumbs is a little dry, neither hard as bricks nor fresh out of the oven. If it’s too fresh and soft, leave it for some days to let it harden and dry up. Then, the processor will make crumbs out of it with much less difficulty. A quicker way is to slice fresh bread into little cubes and bake them in an oven or a toaster, then cool them down and only after that make crumbs.
Where to store homemade bread crumbs?
It’s best to keep bread crumbs in an airtight container, stuffed there densely with no room for air. Another method of storing them is to use a resealable bag made of plastic put into a suitable container. It helps create a protective barrier against air moisture. If you store breadcrumbs at average room temperature, their shelf life will be approximately 30 days. In case you freeze them, it may increase to 3 months.
Freezing is even better because they still have a little moisture inside of them, even if they seem very dry and are kept in a good airtight container. This moisture can lead to mold growth, while the coldness of a freezer can slow it down. When you need to use them, there’ll be no necessity for a long defrosting. Because of their tiny size, they will thaw almost immediately.
Where to use your homemade breadcrumbs?
Homemade breadcrumbs play an important role in hundreds of various recipes. They make dishes even more delicious and add extra crunchiness to their texture. Here, we’ll give you only some examples. The rest is up to you and your fantasy — put them wherever you like to add a wonderful finishing detail to your culinary masterpieces!
An amazing way to use homemade breadcrumbs is to sprinkle them on a plate of cheese, macaroni, or pasta. Also, they’ll look (and taste) great as a topping for salads. Another great idea is to add them to meatballs or meatloaf. Breaded chicken covered with breadcrumbs is amazing too — it’s one of the main dishes where they’re used. And if you’re making eggplant parmesan, you can coat eggplant pieces with them, which will make them way more crunchy.
What breadcrumbs are better — fresh or toasted?
This depends on two things — firstly, the recipe. For instance, if you’re going to add your crumbs into a meatloaf or meatballs, it will be totally OK to leave them untoasted. Yet, in case you plan to make a crunchy topping or coating with them, they will be tastier and better-looking if you slightly toast them. However, it’s completely up to you and your tastes.
Panko bread crumbs. What are they?
Strictly speaking, Panko is a sort of breadcrumbs produced from a special Japanese bread with no crust. They’re crispy, lightweight, and amazing for various coatings and casseroles. Typically, Panko bread crumbs are sold in grocery shops. It is quite hard to make exactly the same crumbs in home conditions, but it’s possible to make something relatively similar. Almost any type of white bread, for example, French bread, is suitable for this.
A recipe for Italian bread crumbs
Now, after we’ve told you what’s needed to make breadcrumbs and in which conditions they should be kept afterward, we’d want to present you with a yummy breadcrumbs recipe from Italy. All those wonderful spices make it one of the most delicious bread recipes, tastier than any store-bought breadcrumbs! These will add up to your perfect bug-out bag!
- Bread crumbs — 1 cup
- Salt — half teaspoon
- Fine-ground garlic — 1/8 teaspoon
- Fine-ground onion — half teaspoon
- Dry Italian herb mix — half teaspoon
The amount of ingredients is not strictly defined – you may change it as you wish. In case you can’t find a ready-made mix of Italian herbs, you may add various herbs such as dried basil or even an extra half-teaspoon garlic powder. If you’re going to fry your crumbs in a skillet, add olive oil.
Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ
How to prepare your own bread crumbs?
To make breadcrumbs is amazingly simple. There are several techniques, such as using a culinary processor, a rolling pin bag, or a grater. Each of them is described in detail in this article.
Is it possible to grate bread when preparing breadcrumbs?
Yes, you may make breadcrumbs with a grater. Although only hard, dry bread is suitable for it. Soft bread can’t be grated very well; that’s why you’ll need to dry it first.
How to prepare bread crumbs in a blender?
It isn’t difficult at all. Firstly, slice your bread into square-shaped bits. Then place those pieces of bread in a blender and grind till they become a fine powder. If you choose a food processor or a spice grinder to prepare bread crumbs, this process will be similar.
What can be a topping instead of breadcrumbs?
There are hundreds of variants that simply won’t fit into a short answer. Here’s only a small part of them: grated cheese, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, croutons, dried herbs or vegetables, lemon zest, a teaspoon of garlic powder, and many others. People use almost every edible thing as a topping, including pieces of meat or bacon or fish. It depends on the recipe — different recipes may require different toppings — and, of course, on your personal tastes!
What sort of bread can be used for bread crumbs?
Literally any of them. Moreover, it’s possible to mix various sorts to experiment and get new surprising taste combinations. The only restriction is that there shouldn’t be mold.
How to make finer bread crumbs?
To make really fine breadcrumbs, put them into the food processor again after drying or toasting and grind until they’re small enough. Alternatively, it’s possible to use a bag with a rolling pin, a malley, a pan, or another heavy thing.
How to prepare bread crumbs with no food processor?
There are plenty of methods. If you use such devices as a blender or a spice grinder, the technique will be quite similar. In case the loaf is hardened, you can grate it with a grater box or a Microplane. Another method is to place bread in a plastic bag and crush it with a rolling pin, a mallet, or a big heavy pan.
Can you use frozen bread?
Yes, you definitely can. However, you’ll have to defrost it first. To make this process quicker, lay the bread on a paper towel (you can also use paper tablets) that will absorb the excess water. Then, bake the breadcrumbs in an oven to dry them up more. Thus, you will get tasty and nutritious food for your minimalist camping.