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Skip the overpriced store-bought usually only meh in flavor gluten-free breadcrumbs and make some instead. It's easier than you think, so you always have some on hand when you need them!
You'd be surprised how many recipes call for breadcrumbs. Usually, it's not a lot of them, but when you are trying to make more of the classic recipes, they tend to pop up more. I started making breadcrumbs a few years ago, and it was actually by complete accident.
It all started after many, many attempts at making various types of gluten-free bread. Let's be honest, and not every recipe turns out the way we want it to the first, second, or even fifth time. I'll also admit there are a few recipes I've scraped all together. Gluten-free bread is one of those recipes because I am a huge texture eater; if the texture is not something I like, it's not a recipe I'll share.
You know what I found out, though? Even though the bread didn't turn out totally edible, they always made perfect breadcrumbs. I'm not sure how that works, but it did, and all those bad loaves got turned into crumbs.
Of course, now I only tend to (unless I'm recipe testing lol) make breadcrumbs out of my grain-free french bread recipe. The bread is amazing in itself, but I still like having breadcrumbs on hand.
1 loaf Grain-free French Bread
If you do not want to make your own bread, you can use any of your favorite gluten-free bread.
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Why I love homemade breadcrumbs
My family loves classic recipes from meatloaf to meatballs and many crispy fried favorites like my homemade mozzarella sticks. Since going gluten-free, I found many of these simple ingredients costs at least five times more than the same gluten-filled counterpart. Plus I a lot of them had rice or corn, and those are ingredients I avoid. So instead, I like making them is not only super easy, but it's completely economical, and I think they taste better too!
How to Make Breadcrumbs
- Slice the baked bread into small cubes (think croutons.)
- Lay the cubes onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until the pieces of bread start to feel dry and crunchy.
- Process the bread cubes in a food processor to bread the cubes into crumbs.
- If the crumbs still feel (like bread), return them to the oven.
- Continue until the bread has dried out. If moisture is still in the bread, the bread crumbs will not stay good once you store them.
- Once the desired crumb is achieved, let them cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
- I like to season mine with my Italian seasoning before I put them away, but that is optional.
Tips and Tricks
Drying the bread - I tend to make my breadcrumbs the same day I do bread. However, you can absolutely use day-old bread as well. Either way, you will be drying the bread out. You want to make sure you remove as much moisture from the bread before storing it without burning the bread.
A few things I always do:
- Lay the bread in a flat layer and rotate the pieces.
- Process the bread a few times. This step might seem silly, but you'll be amazed how some pieces feel rock hard, and then when you turn them into crumbs, they will feel soft again. That softness is moisture still in the bread, which can lead to mold growth once stored.
- Once I have my breadcrumbs dried and processed, I let them dry out overnight. This way helps to make sure there is no residual heat or moisture left in them.
Can you make breadcrumbs without a food processor?
Yes, you can! It's is a little bit more work, but it can be done. To do so, just place your dried bread pieces into a ziplock bag. Roll a rolling pin over the pieces to break them up. If you find that your bread is flattening more than it is breaking apart into crumbs, you need to dry it out more.
How to Store
You can store them in a container in the freezer for up to six months. If I know I am making them for a particular recipe, I will store them in a glass jar in the pantry. I find if they are in plastic, they tend to lose their crunch a little bit.
Italian breadcrumbs are pretty common to find, and you easily make them with this recipe by simply adding in your favorite Italian seasoning. I tend to add a little bit of salt to mine and then leave them plain for storage. I will usually season them before using depending on the recipe.
How to Make Gluten-free Breadcrumbs
- 1 Loaf Gluten-free Bread of Choice
- Bake a batch of grain-free french bread or use your favorite gluten-free bread.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Cut the bread into pieces about an inch in size.
- Lay the bread in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until the bread is slightly golden and crispy.
- Place the pieces of bread into a food processor or ziplock bag (see notes above) to manually make.
- Pulse the bread until crumbs are formed.
- Return the breadcrumbs to the oven and let them cook another 15-20 minutes.
- Repeat as necessary until the crumbs are desired size and feel hard to the touch.
- Allow the breadcrumbs to cool before putting them away to store for later use.
To Season (if desired)
- Once the breadcrumbs are made, add the spices to them in the food processor and pulse one or two more times to break up the spices before storing them.