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How to Make Bread Crumbs in 3 Easy Steps

Learn how to make bread crumbs at home for frying or baking crispy, crunchy foods.  In 3 easy steps, make fresh or toasted homemade bread crumbs that taste 101% better than no-flavor store-bought crumbs.  Use your favorite bread, including gluten-free bread.

stack of bread and pile of bread crumbs

If you like to make crispy foods or casserole dishes, you have probably used bread crumbs in your recipe. 

If you have used store-bought bread crumbs, you know how bland they can taste.  They also can get stale pretty quickly in your cupboard.

And if you are eating gluten-free, it can more expensive and a big pain to find gluten-free bread crumbs.  Making homemade bread crumbs is the perfect solution to these problems.

Fortunately making bread crumbs is quick and easy with a food processor.  Don’t have a food processor?  Learn how to make bread crumbs without a food processor.

Homemade bread crumbs taste better and you can store them easily to retain their fresh flavor.  Once you start making your own bread crumbs, you will never want to buy them again.

infographic on how to use bread crumbs

What are Bread Crumbs?

bread crumbs in bowl

Bread crumbs are small, broken pieces of fresh or toasted bread pulverized into tiny crumbly pieces.

Use any plain bread (bread without seeds, nuts, large grains, etc.) for best results.

Bread crumbs can be either fresh or toasted and their texture coarse or fine.  You can make bread crumbs with the crust on the bread or remove the crust before processing.

slices of bread on a plate

Some people collect their stale bread and use it to make bread crumbs.  While this reduces waste, be aware that input=output.

If your bread is stale, your bread crumbs may taste stale as well.  How much you will notice the stale taste depends on how many other ingredients the crumbs are mixed with and how sensitive your taste buds are.

How to Make Bread Crumbs With Fresh Bread

slices of bread on a plate
  • To make fresh bread crumbs, cube or tear two slices of your favorite bread into pieces.
bread crumbs
  • Place four to five pieces into your food processor.  Use either the coarse or fine blade, depending on the size of bread crumbs you want.  Pulse 5 to 8 times until the bread crumbles into coarse crumbs.
  • Continue to add bread pieces and pulse until all the bread pieces are processed.

Finished bread crumbs will be soft.  Keep them from drying out by storing them in a zip top bag or airtight container until you are ready to use them.  Crumbs from fresh bread are best used right away.

Process bread crumbs longer to get a finer crumb.  Finer crumbs are ideal for breading, while coarse crumbs are wonderful as a casserole topping or as a filler for meatloaf.

How to Make Bread Crumbs With Toasted Bread

Step 1: Cube the Bread Slices (or break bread into pieces)

cubed bread on bread board

If you cube the bread slices, you will get more uniform sizes.  This can help get evenly sized crumbs.  However, you can tear your bread into pieces as well.

Step 2: Toast the Bread Cubes in the Oven

bread cubes on baking tray
  • Preheat the oven to 250° Fahrenheit.
  • Next, place the bread cubes on a cookie sheet in a single layer.
  • Put the cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes turn each bread slice over and toast for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Finally, remove the cookie sheet from the oven and let the toasted bread cool for about 15 minutes. Cool the bread on a cooling rack to cool it faster.

Toast Bread in Toaster Oven

bread slices in toaster oven

If you will be toasting your bread in a toaster oven, do not cube or break the bread before toasting.

  • Turn the toaster oven on to 250° Fahrenheit.
  • Place the bread in toaster oven in single layers.
  • Toast for 15 to 20 minutes. The bread toasts on both sides at the same time, so you don’t need to flip the bread over.
  • Cube or break the toasted bread after it has cooled.

Note: I don’t recommend toasting the bread in a regular toaster.  The toast tends to become crispy and dark on the outside while the inside remains soft.  Increasing the toasting time leads to dark toast, not suitable for bread crumbs.

Toast Bread in a Frying Pan

toasting bread in frying pan
  • Heat the frying pan to medium low heat using no fat or water.
  • Place two slices of bread in the pan.
  • Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on one side.
  • Flip the bread over and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. You many have to move the bread around so it toasts evenly.  When finished, the bread should be dry and toasted.
  • If necessary, flip the bread over again, until the moisture has cooked out and the bread is toasted thoroughly.
  • Remove from pan and cool.
  • After toasting and cooling the bread, break each slice of bread into three to five pieces.

Step 3: Pulverize the Toasted Bread

food processor making bread crumbs

The easiest way to process toasted bread into bread crumbs is to use a food processor.  I use the food processor on my Bosch stand mixer.

The Bosch stand mixer has several attachment blades.  I like the shredding blade placed at the top of the bowl.

The bread cubes go through the blade once and collect in the bottom of the bowl.  The size of the crumbs will depend on which food processor blade you use.

If you use your food processor blade inside the bowl, the bread will continually be processed when the unit is on.

If your food processor has the blade in the bowl, use the pulse setting and watch the bread cubes carefully, so they don’t become powder.  In my opinion, powdered crumbs are only good for thickening soups.

  • Add bread cubes a little at a time and process.
  • Continue adding bread and pulsing until all the bread pieces have been pulverized.
  • To preserve freshness, store the toasted bread crumbs in a zip top bag or airtight container until you are ready to use them in a recipe. Use within 2 days or place them in the freezer for longer storage.

How to Preserve Bread Crumbs

bread crumbs in a ziploc bag

It is not always convenient to make bread crumbs right when you need them for your dinner recipe.

Instead, keep a supply of homemade bread crumbs in a freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer until you are ready to use them.  Be sure to label and date your freezer bag.

Always store bread crumbs with a coarse texture.  If your recipe calls for a fine texture, you can quickly pulse your supply of bread crumbs until you get the right consistency.  You can make finer crumbs if you need them, but you can’t make fine crumbs coarse again.

Frozen bread crumbs are best used within one to two months for ideal fresh taste.  If used after two months, they will not taste as fresh or flavorful.

It is easy to collect a supply of bread slices to use for bread crumbs.  I often use the unpopular heel or slices that have a hole in them; basically the slices that are not perfect.

Freeze these bread slices in a freezer bag.   When you have enough slices of bread to make a cup or two of bread crumbs, thaw the bread out and then make your next batch of bread crumbs.

Alternately, use a whole loaf of bread to make a good supply of bread crumbs for the next couple of months.

cube, toast, and crumble bread crumbs

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Homemade Bread Crumbs

bread crumbs in bowl

Bread crumbs are used for frying or baking crispy, crunchy foods, as toppings for casseroles or fillers for meat dishes.  In 3 easy steps, make fresh or toasted bread crumbs that taste 101% better than no-flavor store-bought bread crumbs.  Use your favorite bread, including gluten-free bread. Make ahead and freeze so you always have a supply for recipes.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of bread

Instructions

Fresh Bread Bread Crumbs

  1. CUBE  or break bread into pieces.
  2. ADD a few bread pieces to the food processor, being careful to not overfill.
  3. PULSE in food processor 5 to 8 times, until bread is crumbly.
  4. REPEAT by adding bread cubes and pulsing until all the bread cubes are pulverized into a coarse or fine texture.

Toasted Bread Crumbs

  1. CUBE bread slices or break into pieces.
  2. TOAST bread cubes. (See specific directions for toasting below.)
  3. PROCESS into bread crumbs with food processor.
  • ADD a small amount of bread cubes to food processor, being careful not to overfill. The amount to add depends on the size of your food processor.*
  • PULSE in food processor 5 to 8 times, until bread is crumbly.
  • REPEAT by adding bread cubes and pulsing until all the bread cubes are pulverized into a coarse or fine texture.

Toast Bread In Oven

  1. PREHEAT oven to 250° Fahrenheit.
  2. COOK bread cubes for 15 minutes on one side.
  3. FLIP bread cubes over and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. COOL for 15 minutes.

Toast Bread in Toaster Oven

  1. PLACE bread slices in toaster oven in a single layer.
  2. BAKE at 250° Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
  3. COOL toasted bread.
  4. BREAK bread slices into pieces.

Toast Bread in Frying Pan

  1. PREHEAT frying pan to medium heat.
  2. PLACE two slices of bread in pan in a single layer.
  3. COOK 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. FLIP bread over and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes until moisture is gone from the bread and it is toasty. It may be necessary to move the bread around to evenly cook.

Freeze Bread Crumbs

  1. STORE in freezer bag or airtight container.
  2. LABEL the contents and date bread crumbs were prepared.
  3. PLACE bag or container in the freezer.
  4. USE within 2 months for best results.

Notes

Bread slices to Bread Crumb Equivalency

  • 2 slices of fresh bread = approximately 1 ½ cups course breadcrumbs or ¾ cup fine bread crumbs
  • 2 slices of toasted bread = approximately 1 cup of coarse bread crumbs or 2/3 cup fine bread crumbs.

*If you don't have a food processor learn how to make bread crumbs without a food processor.

All images and content are © TheTastyTip.com. If you want to use this recipe and techniques, please take your own photos, write your own description, and link back to this page. Thank you.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

2 tbsp

Amount Per Serving Calories 28Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 51mgCarbohydrates 5gFiber 0gSugar 1gProtein 1g

Nutrition information is an estimate only and may vary based on individual ingredients added and cooking methods used.


What do you like to make with homemade bread crumbs?  Comment below and let me know.

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