Breadcrumbs are a must-have pantry stable for adding texture and flavor to a wide variety of dishes. Whether you're crafting a crispy coating for baked or deep-fried foods or bringing a decadent crunch to salads and casseroles, breadcrumbs can take a simple meal and turn it into a culinary masterpiece. Although many foodies purchase breadcrumbs in bulk and store them alongside other cupboard classics like flour and sugar, it's not uncommon to run out of must-have ingredients, especially utilitarian goods like breadcrumbs. But the good news is that as long as you have bread and a toaster, you can make breadcrumbs in a flash.
This simple toast trick is as easy as popping a couple of slices of bread into your toaster until it's nice and crispy before transferring the toast to a large Ziploc baggie and crushing it with a rolling pin. If you don't have a rolling pin, don't fret. A bottle of cooking spray or even just a firm hand can get the toast crushed up finely enough. A toaster isn't a requirement -- an air fryer, conventional oven, or even a stovetop works just fine. As long it's crunchy -- you're good to go. Once you've crushed up your toast to your liking, put them to use the same way you would with packaged breadcrumbs.
What Bread Works Best
When it comes to making homemade breadcrumbs from toast, you'll want to consider which types of bread work best. Experimenting with different types of bread allows you to tailor the flavor and texture of the breadcrumbs to suit the specific dish you are preparing. Whether you prefer a rustic, coarse crumb or a finer texture, the choice of bread plays a crucial role in achieving the perfect batch of homemade breadcrumbs.
For making homemade breadcrumbs from toast, the best bread options are those with a sturdy texture and a neutral flavor. Sourdough, French baguette, or Italian bread are excellent choices, as they tend to produce breadcrumbs with a satisfying crunch and a versatile taste that complements both savory and sweet dishes. Whole-grain or multi-grain bread can also be used for a heartier and nuttier flavor profile, although these varieties sometimes need a little extra cooking time.
If you can, opt for day-old bread or slightly stale slices, as they tend to toast more evenly and will result in breadcrumbs with better consistency. Avoid overly soft or sweet bread varieties, as they may not yield the desired texture and could introduce a cloying sweetness to savory recipes.
Jazzing Up Homemade Breadcrumbs
Many of the packaged breadcrumbs available at supermarkets and grocery stores are often made with spices and aromatics for extra flavor. You can do the same with your made-on-the-spot breadcrumbs.
Start by experimenting with classic herbs such as parsley, oregano, and thyme for a Mediterranean flair, or go bold with aromatic spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika to create a savory and robust taste. Consider adding a pinch of Parmesan cheese for a hint of umami, or mix in dried chili flakes for a subtle kick.
To enhance the depth of flavor, drizzle the crushed toast with a touch of olive oil before adding the seasonings, ensuring they adhere evenly. You can introduce the oil and seasonings after the breadcrumbs are ground to your liking and then shake them up in the same baggie you used to crush up the toast.
Enjoy the freedom of culinary expression as you explore and experiment with diverse seasoning combinations to suit your palate and the specific requirements of your favorite recipes.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.