Do you ever have days when a single missing ingredient means a special trip to the grocery store? The last time I served eggplant parmesan, I needed breadcrumbs–and it was maddening. So when my recent tea sandwiches left me with bread crusts, I decided to make homemade Italian breadcrumbs. Kind of like getting free (really tasty) food–and it was soooo easy. Why didn’t I think of this before!
I consulted the internet and decided to start with a recipe from Alton Brown. Since I didn’t have the Italian seasoning it called for, I improvised. I also adjusted the process a bit based on recommendations from other bloggers.
Now I don’t usually have bread crusts laying around, but I do get bread ends that go unloved (and even turn fuzzy green) a lot. Many bloggers suggested freezing bread that is “on the edge” until you have enough. Sounds like a plan!
Homemade Italian Breadcrumbs
- 4 ounces stale bread, cut or torn into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 t basil
- 1 t oregano
- 1 t parsley
- 1/2 t onion powder
- 1/4 t black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Dry the bread that you will be using overnight if you can. (Alton Brown did not mentions this, but I think it may break up better if drier)
2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
3. Place about a third of the bread pieces into a blender or food processor, cover and pulse until coarse crumbs form, about 2 minutes. Repeat with another third of the bread, then with the final third plus the herbs.
4. Spread the crumbs evenly on a sheet pans and bake until the crumbs just begin to brown (watching carefully)–this took about 4 minutes for me. Cool the crumbs on the pans for 15 to 20 minutes, and then transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature.
Of course it isn’t eggplant season right now, so my new bread crumbs will need to inspire something else. If life gave you breadcrumbs, what would you make?