Not Grimm Bread Crumbs...


We all know the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm...
Hansel and Gretel lured into the deeps of the forest
with only a trail of bread crumbs to find their way home.
This tale has a happier ending!!
This morning I decided to clean out the various bread bags clogging the freezer.
I often save the heels of bread along with odd bits of buns and rolls
(notice the hot dog buns, broken croissants, and French bread chunks)
to make these simple bread crumbs.
The How:
Place bread pieces, single layer, on ungreased baking sheets.
Bake them at 300 degrees.
After about 15 minutes the thin pieces should be lightly toasted and hard.
Carefully (I use tongs) remove the thinner pieces .
(These cook faster than the thicker pieces and if you leave them too long they'll burn.)
Set your timer for 10-15 minutes and allow the thicker pieces to toast.
Once they have toasted remove from oven and allow to cool.
I use a food processor to grind the cooled, toasted bits of bread into bread crumbs.
You could also use a vintage food grinder, or place them in a large plastic or paper bag (sturdy)
and crush them with a rolling pin (being careful not to make a mess).
We enjoy Italian style bread crumbs, so I add a few teaspoons of garlic powder; 1 teaspoon dried basil; 1 teaspoon dried oregano; 2 teaspoons sea salt; 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
This batch makes about 12 ounces.
A wide-mouth funnel keeps the mess down when transfering them to their container.
We use a recycled, store-bought, bread crumb container that was
purchased in a moment of weakness!
(I still lament the fact that we paid over $3 for a 15 ounce container of ground up, dried bread!)
The bonus is that you can control the ingredients in home made bread crumbs
and we don't add preservatives.

Here's what they look like in the container.
We use them to bread zuccini and other vegetables,
as well as meats and tofu (such as chicken strips and mock chicken strips).
I've even taken very thin pieces of fish fillet and
used this breading to add substance to what could have been a meagre entree.
Home made bread crumbs are surprisingly easy and take about 1/2 hour total time...
with only about 10-15 minutes actual labor.
(The remaining 15 minutes is simply keeping an eye on the baking bread).
As well, there's beauty in the fact that you're using food you might normally have wasted.