Fresh Bread Crumbs
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Makes: about 6 cups crumbs per pound of bread
 
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Ingredients
  • 1 loaf bread (or desired amount--see yield) - I prefer to work with a round, unsliced loaf, but nearly any bulky shape will work
Make It
  1. Use a serrated knife to remove bread crust. For a round loaf, remove the crust by cutting the loaf in half top to bottom (then pause to smell the fresh, yeasty bread). Stand each half on its cut side. Cut off the bottom, flat crust first, then work in smaller sections with the knife, "peeling" the remaining crust off the bread. To remove crust from sliced bread, stack the slices and cut top to bottom to remove crusts from all the slices in one motion.
  2. Cut or tear bread into approximately equal chunks, about 1 to 2 inches each. To ensure equal sized chunks that can be made quickly, use the serrated knife to thickly slice the bread, then stack slices and make crosswise cuts to get squares.
  3. Fill food processor about half full of bread chunks (work in batches if all the chunks won't fit). Pulse the bread chunks in 5 to 10 second bursts until you reach the desired crumb size. You shouldn't have to open the food processor to scrape down the sides or stir. When a recipe doesn't specify crumb size, aim for just smaller than a peppercorn, with a few larger or smaller pieces. Err on the larger size to avoid ending up with bread powder.
  4. If not using right away, store crumbs in resealable freezer bags, labeled with the quantity of crumbs inside. Squeeze out most of the excess air as you seal, without crushing the crumbs at all. Even if you store all the crumbs in a large bag, they're easy to break up when frozen so you can thaw only the quantity you need. Thaw in a sealed container at room temperature or in the refrigerator, so the crumbs don't dry out.
Notes
My 1½ pound, 7 inch diameter, very dense loaf of sourdough yielded 9 cups of crumbs. Weight of the loaf is the most predictable guide for your yield of crumbs.
Recipe by Natural Comfort Kitchen at http://www.naturalcomfortkitchen.com/how-to-make-fresh-bread-crumbs/