Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Perfect Homemade Breadcrumbs

Folks, I just figured out the BEST solution to getting perfect homemade breadcrumbs...
Perfect Homemade Breadcrumbs

Tada! Beautiful, isn’t it?

No? Well, just wait till we number crunch...It’ll look like pure gold then.

What’s the secret to my alchemy, you ask?
You'll need:
  • Food processor or blender (I have a small smoothie maker I use)
  • Dried bread (any amount)
  • This tea strainer (the large tea infuser from World Market) or one like it
  • 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup
  • Storage container (I used a quart mason jar)

First, collect all your ancient bread heels and stale buns. Mine are collected throughout the month in a gallon ziploc in the freezer. Then I go to work once the bag is full. This time I had a little extra because I discovered a few stray hotdog buns had gone stale. All together, this came to 22 pieces of bread.

Put all the bread on a baking sheet. The bread can even be placed straight on the rack if you want but I put them on a pan to minimize the mess in my oven. Bake the bread at 350ish till it looks thoroughly dried out. I bake mine until they are slightly brown on the edges and crack easily when broken in half.

After letting the bread pieces cool a bit, break them up and put them into your blender or food processor. Because I have a small blender, I break mine up into pieces with sides no longer than one inch. They process faster this way and don't get stuck. Once blended, put the bottom portion of the tea strainer over the top of a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup and sift the crumbs like so:
A sieve might work too, but mine has a double layer of mesh and doesn't let enough through. If I wanted bread powder, not bread crumbs, I would use my sieve.

Sift out all the big bits and return them to the blender. Continue until all bread has been processed.

Voila! Perfect breadcrumbs.

My 22 pieces of bread nearly filled up a quart mason jar.
And this method is made even cheaper since I get all my bread at the Franz outlet bakery up the road. Today I got 10 loaves of organic bread and 2 bags of ginger snaps for $12.38.

And now for the best part: the Math! If every loaf cost a dollar, and there's 18 slices (including the heels) in each loaf, that's $0.05 per slice. My jar held 20 slices of bread (the two hotdog buns were from a package that was given to me for free, so I'm not including them in this calculation). So the whole quart of crumbs cost me $1.00 and about 20 minutes of time. Not too shabby.

If you look at this from another perspective, for every 10 loaves of bread you buy, you're throwing $1.00 worth of bread in the trash if you don't use your heels. And that's if you get your bread for a dollar a loaf. If you pay the standard $2-$4 a loaf, then you're throwing away $1 every 3-5 loaves.

Kinda shocking.

So, give this a try! Save money… you know you want to.

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