We are big fans of textural contrast so having toasted breadcrumbs on hand is an easy way to add crunch and texture to something as simple as a bowl of Mac & Chef, grilled broccolini, or salad to add extra dimension to each bite. Any bread (fresh or even a few days old) will work but we like using rustic or sourdough-style bread with more gluten structure as it will provide a denser, crunchier texture than plain white bread which will give a lighter, fluffier texture.
1 baguette or 1/2 rustic sourdough loaf
3 Tbsp olive oil to start, more if needed
Salt (to taste)
Parsley, chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- On a cutting board, cut off the crust. Cut or tear bread into smaller chunks no larger than 1 inch in size and place in a mixing bowl. Drizzle 3 tbsp of olive oil over the chunks of bread and toss to evenly coat. If needed, add more olive oil 1 tbsp at a time until there is enough olive oil to coat and absorb into the bread.
- Transfer into a single layer on a baking tray and bake for 15-25 minutes until the pieces are crunchy and browned. If you prefer darker breadcrumbs, leave in the oven longer. Remove from the oven, season with kosher salt, and place on the counter until cool to the touch.
- Once cool, pulse in a food processor until desired coarseness. If you don’t have a food processor, transfer into a plastic bag and lay flat on the counter making sure the opening of the plastic bag is closed. Using a mallet or the bottom of a small pot or pan, lightly pound the chunks of bread until you reach desired coarseness. Taste and season with more kosher salt, if necessary.
- Store in an airtight container and will last for up to a week.
- The toasted breadcrumbs can be added as a crunchy garnish to a variety of different dishes to add textural contrast including grilled or roasted vegetables, in addition to Howl Mac & Chef. Add breadcrumbs right before serving so they retain their crunch.
- Optional - add your favorite chopped herbs with the breadcrumbs right before you garnish your dish to add a herbaceous dimension.