The Meal Planner

If you came over to my house and went to grab a piece of bread from the bread bag, you'd be guaranteed to find the "bread bums" floating around in there. We call those pieces of crusts on the end the "bums" and it's the piece of bread NO ONE wants. Being "out of bread" means that there's only bread bums left, and it used to get tossed in the garbage.

But not anymore!

A couple years ago I started saving the bread bums in a large ziplock bag in the freezer. Every time we go through a loaf of bread and have just the end crusts left, I add it to the ziplock bag. I also add other odds and ends of bread like a hamburger bun or dinner roll that didn't get eaten, or pita's that are a little too dry to eat. Just put it all in the bag and when it's full, it's time to make bread crumbs.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Roughly chop the bread and/or buns up into about 1 inch cubes and place in a single layer on a cookie sheet.

If you have pitas, just break them into pieces and place them on a cookie sheet.

Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Toss the bread around and turn over and bake another 5 minutes or so. You want the bread to really dry out and become lightly golden. Dump into a food processor and whiz up for a minute or two until you have nice fine bread crumbs. Pour the bread crumbs back onto the cookie sheet and let them cool and dry for about 10 minutes or so until you put them in a sealed container. Pour them into a resealable container and store in the pantry.

From there you can also turn them into Italian breadcrumbs:

1 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil

Mix these all together, label and store in a separate container in the pantry.

It's so handy to have homemade bread crumbs in the cupboard, since they can be used in a ton of recipes:

If you missed other ideas in the Something from Nothing series, check them out:

Stumble Upon Toolbar
5 Responses
  1. Me Says:

    I just throw my "bread bums" into a large container in the pantry, let them dry out and then make them into crumbs. I'm never short of bread crumbs because, like in your household, no one here eat the crusts either!

  2. kylee Says:

    I do it with stale bread, but instead of drying them in the oven, I throw the crumbs in the freezer. I generally use them in meatloaf, and it doesn't need to be thawed.

    I have a "soup bag" in my freezer too. Leftover veges, or ones that are about to go bad get thrown in ther.

  3. Vicki Says:

    Such a great idea! We have breads like cinammon or raisin bread - do you think those can be mixed in with everything as well or that it will give the crumbs a funky taste? I requested a food processor for my Christmas gift this year - just another reason I will find it useful! BTW, tried your suggestion of Jaime Oliver's Simple Tomato Sauce with sausages the other night - AWESOME. Could not believe how yummy it all was & how "simple" it all came together.

  4. Vic - I would save the cinnamon or raisin bread in a separate bag and toast and food process them separately. That way you can use them in sweet dishes that need some bread crumbs, but not make your regular bread crumbs taste weird. Using cinnamon raisin bread crumbs as a sweet and savory coating on some chicken tenders might turn out really great!

  5. I am a hoarder of bread bums! All our ends and stale bread goes into my spice grinder and added to a container in the freezer! I bet baking them to dry them gives better flavor! Also thanks for the italian breadcrumb recipe share! I knew my homemade mix was missing something... Oh and I save stale sweet bagel/breads for sweet salad crutons. Cinn raisin croutons over a spinach salad with goat cheese and a strawberry vinegarette...oh my. Yum!