How To: Make DIY Breadcrumbs

It's hard to finish a big loaf of bread before it gets stale. And too often, we forget about it until it's hard enough to be a doorstop. But if you have five minutes and a food processor, you can give turn it into breadcrumbs that can be used for countless dishes. See our step-by-step photos, below...

First, tear the bread into chunks, as many as will fit into your food processor bowl. We ended up with about 3 cups of loosely-packed chunks, which yielded 2 cups of crumbs.

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Here's a tip: If your bread has a crunchy crust that's gotten really hard, leave it out (just scoop out the softer bread). Below, an un-processed chunk of crust that we fished out of our food processor.

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After a few pulses to get things going, then a 10-second whir, you've got fine, uniform breadcrumbs that you can use right away or freeze. We'll throw ours on top of gratins, pasta, and baked vegetables, or coat chicken breasts in them before baking.

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If you don't have a food processor, you can toast your bread first, then grate it on a box grater. See our instructions here: DIY Dried Breadcrumbs.

Does anyone have a method for making fresh breadcrumbs that doesn't require a food processor? Let us know!

Related: Recipe: Poor Man's Parmesan

(Images: Elizabeth Passarella)