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Make Bread Crumbs From Bread & Other Stale Bread Recipes

Updated on August 10, 2013

There is nothing so obnoxious as planning a delicious dinner of chicken parmesan or casserole with crumb topping and then realizing you are out of bread crumbs. Or perhaps you prefer to make your bread crumbs at home because of cost, convenience, food allergies and/or preferences, or simply to use up old bread. Whatever your reason, making bread crumbs from bread is easy with just a few simple steps!

Directions for Making Bread Crumbs

Start with dry bread. You can get dry bread several ways. Pick whichever one suits your fancy.

  • Freeze leftover pieces of bread before they taste stale. Thaw at room temperature before using in the recipe (unless you like shivery cold bread crumbs).
  • Dry slices of bread in the oven on 300 degrees for 10-15 minutes (turn once).
  • Leave fresh pieces of bread on the counter over night.

Put your dry bread in a food processor. This can be done with a grater, but it’s tedious work and you are likely to scrape your fingers off. No one wants a side of finger skin in their bread crumbs.

Process your bread crumbs to your desired texture.

Add any seasonings you like. If you are going to use your bread crumbs straight away, feel free to add parmesan cheese or fresh herbs. If you plan on storing your bread crumbs, it is better to stick with dried cheese powders and dried herbs.

Suggested add ins:

  • Italian seasoning
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried, minced onions

Bread crumbs can be stored in the freezer for about 3 months.

Other Ideas for Dry Bread

If you have old bread lying around, there are several other recipes you may find useful.

French Toast

French toast made from dried bread is a great. Dryness prevents the toast from becoming too soggy. Beat up some eggs, milk or cream, sugar, a touch of nutmeg, rum (if you’re feeling frisky), and vanilla flavoring. Soak the dry bread about 30 seconds per side then pan fry in butter and a touch of vegetable oil. Douse the French toast with powdered sugar, cinnamon, or maple syrup and butter. Serve with a side of bacon. Talk about bringing the crowd to the table!

Bread Pudding

Use dry bread in your bread pudding and no one will ever know the difference. All the moisture from the cream and butter will soften the bread right up.

Meatballs or Meatloaf

Use dry bread in your meatloaf or meatballs. Many recipes call for some type of bread, either crackers or sliced sandwich bread. Using dry bread won’t hurt a thing in these recipes.

Panzanella (Bread Salad)

Make panzanella…my personal favorite! This tasty Italian treat combines grilled bread, tomatoes, bell peppers, capers, kalamata olives, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and fresh basil for an excellent summer salad. Plus, if you have an overgrown herb garden, it helps to use up some of your basil. They say the capers and olives are optional. I wholeheartedly disagree.


Slice and dice your dry bread, pan-fry the pieces in butter and oil, then bake on 300 degrees until toasty for homemade croutons. You will never go back to those tooth-cracking hard store-bought croutons again. Around here, we keep homemade croutons around for a quick snack or impromptu salads.


If you have dry baguettes, make bruschetta. Rub the slices with garlic, pan fry the pieces in olive oil, then add fresh basil, tomatoes, and sliced mozzarella for a quick appetizer.

French Onion Soup

Use your dry bread to top French onion soup. It will absorb the liquid and soften up.


And what Thanksgiving isn’t complete without stuffing! Use your dry bread to stuff your bird or whatever other meat you having lying around. Dry bread is perfect to use in stuffing recipes.

Feed the Birds!

If all else fails, load up the kids and take a trip to the park to feed the birds. Letting the birds get a meal of your old bread is better than creating more trash and the kids will love it. Free outing + cleaning out the freezer + satisfied birds = SUCCESS!

This guy needs some bread!
This guy needs some bread! | Source

Let's Brainstorm!

What is your favorite way to use up old bread? Did I leave anything out? Feel free to comment below and we can brainstorm together!

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© 2013 Leah Wells-Marshburn


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      NMGirl 2 years ago

      Please don't feed bread to birds including ducks. Bread doesn't have enough nutrients to actually sustain a bird especially in winter. It is essentially junk food. Give them seeds or suet instead.