I like to make my own bread crumbs from bread that is at the end of it’s shelf life. It is also getting close to Thanksgiving and we enjoy stuffed turkey. It makes sense to find uses for stale bread. I sometimes make French toast or bread pudding with the extra bread. The breads I usually use for crumbs and cubes are standard white or wheat. This includes breads like baguettes, and artisan breads. Bread that have fruit, onions, olives and cheese in them will not keep because these items will cause mold.
For bread crumbs I like to use my food processor to chop up bread. You don’t have to dry the bread out first to do this. Just brake pieces off and fill the processor with the blade and give it a few pulses until you have crumbs. I like panko style crumbs and that is usually the texture I get. I then lay the crumbs out on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 250 degrees with the convection on. I set the timer for 30 minutes at first, then I will stir the crumbs and place them back in the oven for additional 15 minutes. Sometimes that is all they need to dry out. If not, you will need to add some more time. Then just let them cool in the cookie sheet. They will continue to dry as they cool. When they are cool store them in a jar or plastic container with a tight fitting lid. They will last a long time that way and not get moldy.
If you don’t have a food processor you can leave your bread dry out completely first. Then you can grate it using a box grater into fine bread crumbs. Or you can break the bread up into pieces and place them into a plastic bag. Then take a rolling pin and roll over them until you have crumbs. You can store them the same way as above. This was the way my mother made them. She saved all the heels of the bread and let them dry out. When she needed bread crumbs or dry bread for stuffing she used the dry bread she saved.
For dry bread cubes, I cut the bread into 3/4 inch cubes. Then I spread them out on a cookie sheet one layer thick. I bake them the same way I make bread crumbs. I usually do both at the same time. When the cubes are cool, I store them in a large plastic bag. I normally make them when I know I will be using them with in a couple of months. The bread crumbs are easier to keep longer. I make more bread crumbs because I am always using them.
This may seem like a lot of work for something like bread crumbs. I have a small food budget and it makes sense to not waste. It has become part of my kitchen routine.