Once you start baking bread there will come a day when a loaf of bread goes stale. When this happens you can repurpose that bread into bread crumbs. Recently I tried a new whole wheat sourdough recipe that just didn’t turn out well. It sunk in the middle and was a bit dry. After a few days I turned it into sourdough bread crumbs. I used them that day in a recipe and stashed the rest in my freezer.

Bread crumbs are probably the simplest way to use up stale bread but they aren’t the only option. I often make a batch of croutons for topping a salad or creamy soup. Bread pudding is one of my favorite desserts and it’s made from a dry loaf. Sometimes I make a savory strata to use old bread. If there are only a few slices lying around I’ll put them in a bag in the freezer until I have enough to make something with.

How to Make Sourdough Bread Crumbs

This is more of a kitchen tip than a recipe. Also, this will work with any type of bread, not just sourdough. A specialty bread like pumpernickel or a loaf with seeds will make stronger tasting bread crumbs so keep that in mind.

Slice or tear up the loaf of bread. My food processor doesn’t like big chunks of hard crust so I have to cut crusty bread up fairly small. This bread was soft but the top crust had gotten pretty dried out so I made sure that was manageable. Behold the sad rejected bread!

Stale sourdough bread for bread crumbs.
Sourdough bread slices for bread crumbs.
Sourdough bread cubes for bread crumbs.

Once the bread is cut or torn up in small chunks, add it to a food processor or blender with a chopping blade in it. You may have to work in batches depending on the size of your machine and the amount of bread you’re working with. I did this loaf in three batches.

Sourdough bread cubes in food processor.
Sourdough bread crumbs in food processor.

As you finish each batch of crumbs, pour it into a bag for the freezer or use for a recipe. Make sure you label the bag with the date if you’re feeling like a dynamo! I used some of these in a recipe so I poured part into a bowl.

Sourdough bread crumbs in bowl.
Sourdough bread crumbs ready for the freezer.

Ways to Use Sourdough Bread Crumbs

I use bread crumbs to top casseroles and add to meatloaf or meatballs. Ideally for a casserole I toss them with melted butter and some salt but they are fine just as they are. You can also pan fry them in a bit of butter and oil to sprinkle over a salad or pasta.

However you use them it’s a great way to save food that would otherwise be thrown out. Not only that, you will never need to buy bread crumbs again!