Homemade bread crumbs give flavor and texture to a wide range of dishes. Homemade Italian bread crumbs are so easy to make, and answer the question of what to do with bread slices that are a little past their prime.
Now I know that all y’all think I’m perfect, so I’m sorry to disillusion you.
But, ya know, stuff happens.
This, my friends, is a classic bread fail. I was experimenting and forgot to turn the oven on. Then it rose faster than I expected so the oven wasn’t hot enough so it started deflating before I got it into the oven. Sadness.
So, when life hands you bread fails what’s a girl to do?
Make homemade breadcrumbs, of course!
I seasoned these up with Italian herbs, because I have an awesome meatball recipe that I use them in.
If you want plain breadcrumbs instead of Italian style bread crumbs, just leave out the seasonings.
And if you are watching your sodium intake, just leave that out, too.
And it really doesn’t matter what kind of bread you use. I mix it up all the time.
In fact, if you have heels or bits that have gotten a little old, throw them in the freezer until you have enough to make the breadcrumbs. Or, you could leave them out to dry and store them in a cupboard till you’re ready for them.
OK. On to the Italian bread crumbs recipe!
Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs
- 2 cups breadcrumbs from any dried bread you have just hanging around
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
I just broke the loaves in pieces and threw them in my Ninja blender. They were already pretty dry because I left them out on the counter for a few days.
I let the blender run until the pieces were pretty small, then I shook it up to make sure no big pieces were being sneaky and hiding on the bottom. There were, so I ran it again.
Then I shook it down so I could tell how many cups of crumbs I had. My recipe calls for 2 cups and I had 4 so I doubled my herbs.
I just add them right into the blender. And run it again. That way the larger herbs like rosemary get chopped up smaller.
Then you pour it into a rimmed baking sheet and smooth it out.
Put it in a 250° F oven for 2 hours stirring every 30 minutes.
This step does two things. It dries it out and gives it a pretty golden color.
If you want to skip this step you can always toast the bread before you put it in the blender. Or just make sure it’s really dry.
Let cool completely before putting in an airtight container for storage. I like to use canning jars because, well, I have a LOT of canning jars. And because it’s easy to tell what it is.
If you don’t have one and the breadcrumbs get a little damp you can always put them back in the oven to dry them out again.
I may be the last person on the planet to have learned this trick, but in case I wasn’t…
The absolutely easiest way to wash a blender or food processor bowl is to put some warm water and a drop or 2 of dish soap in it and turn it on. Run for a few minutes and rinse. Ta Dah!
Frequently Asked Questions About Italian Breadcrumbs
Any and all! I usually have a mixture of sourdough and whole wheat, but I’ve also added in heels from rye bread and that works as well.
Store then in an airtight container like a vacuum sealed mason jar, in a dark cupboard. If they get a little damp or stale, simply pop them back into the oven on a baking sheet for 5 minutes or so.
I use Italian breadcrumbs for meatballs, meatloaf, and for coating things for frying like mozzarella sticks or chicken parmesian.
More recipes for homemade pantry items you should try:
Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
- 1 tsp course grind black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp dried rosemary
- Place all ingredients in blender and process until everything is a uniform size.
- Put in shallow pan and place in a 250 degree F oven for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.
- Let cool completely and store in a tightly sealed glass jar.