I think it’s ludicrous to buy bread crumbs, although I know many people do purchase them. Why spend money on an inferior product when you can make a better one almost for free? All you need is stale bread, which I always seem to have around my house. In fact, to get the finest, most delicate bread crumbs, you need very stale bread. I cut it into cubes and let it dry at room temperature for a few days or longer. If the bread isn’t dry enough, the processor won’t produce the lovely, silky crumbs you need. Just wait a day or two longer and try again.
The processor works best when it has a critical mass to work with, so make a lot of crumbs and freeze what you don’t use immediately. Homemade bread crumbs freeze beautifully and are much tastier than the ones you can buy.
- 4 loaves (1 pound each) country-style bread
Cut the bread into 1- to 1½-inch cubes. You do not need to remove the crust. Arrange the bread cubes on trays and let stand at room temperature until very dry. This may take a day or two in hot, dry weather or up to several days if the humidity is high. In damp weather, you may need to finish the drying in a 200°F oven for about 1 hour. Let cool completely before grinding.
Working in batches, place the bread cubes in a food processor and whir until reduced to very fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a large bowl. When all the bread is ground, pass the crumbs through a medium-mesh sieve, using your hand to push them through. Reprocess and resieve the crumbs that do not pass through. Discard any crumbs that don’t make it through the sieve the second time. Freeze in 1- or 2-cup freezer bags for convenience.