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:
- Pecan Chicken over Salad with Maple BBQ Dressing
- The Ultimate Burger
- Bistro Burgers with Bacon & Creamy Honey-Dijon Sauce
- Broccoli & Cauliflower Gratin
- Turkey Meatballs with Tomato Cream Sauce
- Meatball Subs with Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce
- Swedish Meatballs in Sour Cream Dill Sauce
- Dad's Famous Meatballs
If you missed other ideas in the Something from Nothing series, check them out: