How to Make Italian Breadcrumbs using a few seasonings, plain breadcrumbs, or stale dry bread pulsed in a food processor. Making your own is always better and it takes only a few minutes. You can make as little as a cup and multiply recipe for your needs. Store in an airtight container and use as needed.
Making your own Italian Breadcrumbs is simple to do and even better, you can use plain breadcrumbs to start – which is which is how I do it. On the other hand, my Zio (uncle) Tony and my Zia (aunt) Julia have always used leftover bread which they saved in a ginormous bowl on the counter or in their oven when it wasn’t used until they accumulated enough for them to make a a big batch of crumbs. The bread didn’t mold because it was never covered which allowed the air to circulate. They used leftover Italian bread – mostly their own homemade. The bread didn’t stay fresh very long because it wasn’t filled with preservatives. Also, their bread was a hard crusted bread which was absolutely delicious, but if not eaten the same day it was used for toasting and after that it was left to dry for crumbs.
Now you don’t have to wait to have huge amounts of bread drying in a big bowl on the counter. You can make as little as a cup to however much you want. Again, in my Aunt’s house this is a common staple and used a lot. She does everything big even if she is feeding only two. There is never only one loaf of bread made, instead it’s six which are then frozen and used as needed. But once it is used, it would get hard and dry which makes for great crumbs. Toasting was never done which I guess is common elsewhere. The breadcrumbs are used to coat and then baked or fried, therefore, toasting was unnecessary. Why toast twice?
I have to stress – Very Important to allow the bread to dry out. That means don’t cover. Just let it sit on the counter and dry out. If you have bread lying around and know you will use it for breadcrumbs, simple break it into pieces allowing it to dry faster. Or, if you don’t want to wait, you can set your oven to 250 degrees, tear the bread in pieces, and place on a baking sheet in one layer. Allow to dry out in the oven for about 15 minutes. There is a difference between toasting and drying out. We are not looking for color here. We are only looking for dry bread which will allow for any extra to be stored in an airtight container in the pantry.
My Aunt and Uncle used Italian breadcrumbs often therefore, they made large amounts. They would also be kind enough to bring me batches when they visited which was always appreciated. To give you a sense of how much was made, this is a photo of the container my Aunt Julia brought me when visiting. I gasped! The amount in the photo is about 20 cups and that is after I already used some and gave a big container away to my in-laws. That’s a lot of Italian Breadcrumbs!
The breadcrumbs are stored in an airtight container. How long? That is hard to answer as it is used commonly in my house. I have kept mine in the pantry for months with no problem. I go by how long the commercial crumbs last and the way I look at it is we are all still alive so… As long as the bread is completely dry, with no moisture, it can be kept for awhile and awhile for me is as long as it is not bad. Let’s say a few months or so.
That being said, you can get around all that if you use plain breadcrumbs. That is what I tend to do because bread doesn’t last long in my house anyways. Using plain breadcrumbs is easier.
For this recipe, you only need dried parsley, kosher salt, granulated garlic powder, and pepper. You may wonder why there are no other seasonings. Maybe you were expecting oregano, basil, and onion powder? Nope. These are the breadcrumbs I grew up with and I told you it was simple. I don’t add Parmesan or Romano cheese to the breadcrumbs until needed which allows them to be stored in the pantry.
I use my Italian Breadcrumbs mixed with either Parmesan or Romano cheese to make my Italian Chicken Cutlets. Using either Parmesan or Romano cheese creates a delicious crust.
I hope you give this a try and use whenever you need Italian Breadcrumbs in your recipes. You won’t regret it. Enjoy!
Thanks for visiting…
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs*
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined and store in an airtight container.
- Use in any recipe that requires Italian Breadcrumbs.
Just let it sit on the counter and dry out. If you have bread lying around and know you will use it for breadcrumbs, simple break it into pieces allowing it to dry faster. Or, if you don't want to wait, you can set your oven to 250 degrees, tear the bread in pieces, and place on a baking sheet in one layer. Allow to dry out in the oven for about 15 minutes. There is a difference between toasting and drying out. We are not looking for color here. We are only looking for dry bread which will allow for any extra to be stored in an airtight container in the pantry.