Are you looking for a way to make Italian bread crumbs from scratch? Then you are in the right place!
Let us start by explaining what are Italian bread crumbs and what are they made of.
The bread crumbs are considered one of the staples in Italian cuisine. We use it in so many dishes that’s it’s almost impossible to make some meals without it.
Even though you can buy breadcrumbs, in Italy women often make their own from dried old bread.
All you need to do is to chop your leftover bread into cubes as if you are going to make croutons (that way the bread would dry out faster and more even). Then place it on the baking tray and into your oven for about 10 min. Enough to let it get crispy and dry but not burnt.
Once the bread is done you have two options. You can do the good old traditional way and use your rolling pin to flatten the cubes or you can use the food processor.
Now that you have ready the base for the Italian breadcrumbs mix, you need to add the aromatic herbs of your choice. I have named the most popular ones below.
TIP: You can also buy the bread crumbs and only do the second part of adding the herbs
Aromatic herbs you can use in your Italian bread crumbs recipe:
Its always the best if you can use the fresh aromatic herbs, but if you don’t have access to them, feel free to use the dry ones.
You can also add garlic, hard cheese (Parmesan or Grana Padano), EVOO for a stronger flavor and texture.
You can use Italian breadcrumbs in meatloaf, for salmon patties, for au gratin, on pork chops, for chicken, in meatballs. There is a wide range of dishes I love to use the homemade bread crumbs mix.
Difference between Italian bread crumbs and regular
Regular breadcrumbs are chopped and grounded dry bread, while Italian one has fresh or dry aromatic herbs seasoning in it and in many cases also grated Parmesan cheese or Grana Padano.
In Italy, every family has its own recipe. 🙂 No scales or measures are used while preparing the mix. It’s all about the balance.
You can substitute Panko bread crumbs with Italian ones. By doing that you will infuse even more flavor into your dish.
How long do Italian breadcrumbs last?
I usually make my bread crumb mix when I need it. But if you have a big family and shortage of time its more practical to prepare a bigger quantity and store it.
Store the flavored breadcrumbs in a plastic container and keep it in the freezer. Crumbs will stay perfect, without heaping up in a single piece. And no worries, they can stay for a quite long time inside the freezer.
What are the best bread crumbs?
I can say confidently that the best bread crumbs are those that you make at home! The reason I say that is because you have full control of what is in it. You choose spices and how much cheese you want to add.
Once you start making your crumb mix you will get addicted.
What can you use in place of breadcrumbs?
If you need to abstain from consuming the bread and its related gluten products you can use several other options:
- Sesame seeds
- Shredded almonds
- Chopped hazelnuts
- Puffed rice
- Poppy seeds
- Corn flour
Let us know if you have used this recipe to make your own Italian bread crumbs mix from scratch!
Italian Kitchen Stories
Once you start making your own Italian bread crumbs mix, you will never go back to the store ones. You can play with the aromatic herbs and depending what you are making you can adopt new spices.
10 minPrep Time
10 minTotal Time
- 2 cups of breadcrumbs
- 1 cup of grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
- 2 springs of fresh chopped parsley
- 2 springs of rosemary
- 2 springs of fresh Thyme
- Optional: 2 table spoons of EVOO and 1 garlic clove - if you desire stronger flavor for fish
- Wash all the aromatic herbs and dry them very well with a kitchen towel.
- If you are using the old bread, cut it into slices and put it in the oven on 150C for about 10 minutes.
- Once the bread had dried out put it in the blender or if you don't have one use the old traditional method with a plastic bag and rolling pin.
- Put the breadcrumbs (the garlic clove and EVOO), the thyme leaves, parsley and rosemary in a blender or kitchen mixer.
- Blend everything for a minute.
- Mix in the grated cheese and your Italian bread crumbs are done!