In Episode 13 learn how to make affordable, homemade gluten-free bread crumbs in minutes! Enjoy meatloaf, chicken fingers, and meatball recipes again with this easy audio GF breadcrumb recipe, plus discover gluten-free bread crumb substitutes! Join Melissa as she shares how to tackle your gluten-free diet with ease while saving money!
Recipes and Resources Mentioned
- Gluten-Free Breadcrumbs
- Soft Gluten-Free Bread Recipe
- Gluten-Free Meatloaf
- Gluten-Free Chicken Parmesan
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Hey everyone. I’m Melissa Erdelac, host of the Gluten-Free Recipe Challenge podcast and creator behind the gluten-free website, MamaGourmand. Here we take beloved recipes you thought you’d never enjoy again and transform them into easy copycat versions. Just as good as the originals.
On episode 10, I spoke about what a cheap ass I am when it comes to buying gluten-free ingredients. Well, maybe that’s not the correct term, but there’s a lot of gluten-free products out there that prey on convenience or our confusion when we’re grocery shopping. So when you’re going down the aisles and you see a big, clearly labeled box that says gluten-free, you might be prone to just thrown in your cart and taking another money hit. But I’m not buying what they’re selling because there’s usually an easy and cheaper workaround.
And that brings me to gluten-free breadcrumbs. If you’re already making or buying gluten-free bread, but please do not buy gluten-free bread. Make my recipe. You won’t be disappointed. Why are they sticking it to you twice? Why are you buying gluten-free bread and then have a new turnaround and buy gluten-free breadcrumbs?
Today I’m going to talk about how easy and quick they are to make it home. Plus, if you don’t wanna make ’em at home, there are some easy alternatives if you don’t have any on hand or you don’t wanna buy them.
First of all, what kind of bread can you use? To make breadcrumbs you can use any bread that is gluten-free, either one type of bread, or if you have a mixture of it. You could use frozen bread, stale bread, gluten-free bread failures, either bought or homemade bread. You can use the heels of the bread, so the ends of the bread. That is primarily what I use to make breadcrumbs.
I don’t particularly like to eat the heels of breads in my sandwich, so I take all the heels and I put ’em in a Ziploc freezer bag and I save them for when I’m ready to make a batch. And you could do this with anything. You could do it with bread that you don’t like. So don’t throw anything away. It all works to make gluten-free breadcrumbs.
Next, what you’re going to need. You’ll need a food processor or a blender and a baking sheet. If you don’t have a food processor or blender, there’s other ways you could still make them. If you don’t have a piece of equipment like that, you’ll want to dry the bread slices or cubes out completely first. Either set ’em out for a few days or toast it in the oven or toaster oven, and you wanna make sure that they’re hard and crunchy as possible.
Then either use a spice grinder or a coffee grinder, and if you don’t have either of those, there’s other ways you could do it too. You could put the toasted bread in a Ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush it. Use a cheese box grater, or put it in a Ziploc bag and then just use a mallet to break it up.
But the key is it has to be really hard and toasted and dried out first, if you’re not using a food processor. If you’d rather use a spice grinder or a coffee grinder, usually the capacity of those aren’t as big, and you want to make sure that the inside is wiped out really good first or otherwise your breadcrumbs will taste like whatever spices are coffee, and that’s not gonna work.
Okay, now we’re ready to make ’em. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and then put the oven rack in the center position. If your bread is frozen, so if you’ve been saving up bread heels, thaw the bread first and place it in a food processor and process it for up to one minute until you get really fine breadcrumbs. If you’d rather have panko, which is a coarser breadcrumb, then you just want to pulse the food processor a few times until you get those big flaky breadcrumbs.
After you have the consistency you like, then just transfer the breadcrumbs to an ungreased baking sheet, and bake it for 10 minutes, take it from the oven, stir it, and then bake it for three to five minutes longer. You want the breadcrumbs to be really toasted and dry to the touch. After that, just let ’em sit out on the counter to cool completely if you’re not using them right away.
Now you’re ready to store them. Store them in an airtight container and you can put ’em in the refrigerator for up to one month. You could put ’em in the freezer up to six months, or the pantry up to two weeks.
And I’ll tell you the trick that I do, I always put ’em in the freezer. So what I do is I get a gallon Ziploc freezer bag. I put my made breadcrumbs in a smaller quart size freezer bag. And then in the gallon freezer bag, I just throw whatever bread heels I have.
If I used up a loaf of bread and I have two heels left, I’ll throw ’em in that bag. So in my freezer , I have a reserve of bread heels, and then a reserve of already made breadcrumbs. Once I’ve used up my breadcrumbs, then I just thaw all those heels and make another batch of breadcrumbs. So I always have some on hand.
When you’re ready to use them, you don’t have to thaw the breadcrumbs first . Just take out what you need from the freezer bag, and you could use them immediately. But if you do have frozen bread heels, thaw those first before processing, because then the crumbs won’t be uniformed.
And you can also make as little or as much as you want. Generally, one slice of bread will make one four to one third cup of breadcrumbs. So if you just need a quick recipe of breadcrumbs for something that you’re making, then remember one slice equals one third cup of breadcrumbs.
If you’re using more than 10 bread slices, then you wanna split the breadcrumbs between two baking sheets because overcrowding the pan will cause the breadcrumbs to steam rather than toast. So just make sure that they have lots of room for the hot air to circulate around them.
The other thing you could do with this recipe is make Italian breadcrumbs. When you’re grinding the bread in the food processor, add seasoning to it. If you have 10 slices of bread in there, you’ll need a half a teaspoon of salt, a half a teaspoon of garlic powder, one teaspoon of onion powder, and one teaspoon of Italian seasoning, and you just process that all together and then toast it.
So that’s it. Super easy peasy. And now you could stick it to the man when you go grocery shopping and not buy their damn breadcrumbs.
How are you going to use this? Well, now you can make things that you might’ve had to steer clear of before, like chicken or eggplant Parmesan, it could be a binder for meatloaf or meatballs.
You could use it for a topping for casserole like mac and cheese or tuna noodle casserole. Uh, it could be a binder for Salisbury steak, a breading for fish or pork or breaded chicken. There’s lots of ways that you can use this.
But if you don’t have breadcrumbs on hand, there’s also alternatives. Some other things that I use, if I don’t have breadcrumbs or I’m fresh out of my freezer supply and I just wanna do something quicker and simpler, a lot of times I’ll use quick oats, especially for meat loafs or meatballs. Other options are rice or corn Chex cereal that’s crushed up, crushed pork rinds, potato chips, gluten-free pretzels.
Gluten-free crackers work really well. And some other things, if you’re talking about breading something and you don’t wanna use breadcrumbs, I’ve used crushed tortilla chips. I’ve used homemade almond flour, and a lot of times I’ll mix the almond flour with Parmesan cheese because then when the Parmesan cheese bakes, it gives it a little more crust to whatever I’m breading.
You could use gluten-free corn flakes for breading. You could use crushed nuts , potato chips. I’ve done that on fish before.
So that’s it for this episode. Remember, you can find the full principle recipe along with any of the tips and everything I mentioned here on the show notes page. And to get to it, just click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you’re listening on, or go to my recipe website, mamagourmand.com and click on the podcast tab.
And there you’ll also find recipes for some of the things I mentioned. Not only the breadcrumbs, but gluten-free chicken parmesan, gluten-free mozzarella sticks, eggplant, parmesan meatballs, meatloaf. You could find it all there as well.