I've actually been making breadcrumbs for the last few years. It is one of those things that I think isn't worth the cost to buy. I buy a package of 12 hot dog buns (or 8 hamburger buns) for $.99 and it makes about 2.5 cups of breadcrumbs. Then I store them in an airtight container in the pantry and pull them out whenever I need a filler for my meatloaf or to make parmesan chicken.
To make your own breadcrumbs, all you need to do is open up the buns and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Leave them on the counter for about 24 hours. Depending on how hot it is in your house, they should be dry or close to it. You want to be able to break it in half easily.
Throw the pieces into a blender (we have a Blendec) and pulse it a few times to get the pieces broken down. Continue pulsing until the crumbs are the desired size. I usually put about 1/3 of them in to start with and then add another 1/3 and the last 1/3 in increments. This gives me more variation in the size of the crumb and makes it easier to break it all down.
Spread the crumbs onto the cookie sheet evenly and let dry for another 24 hours. You want to make sure they are dry so they don't get moldy.
Store in an airtight container.
*Note: To make your own flavored breadcrumbs, you could add onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, etc. before placing the crumbs in the container.
Easy right? (Stay tuned for some recipes using breadcrumbs in the next month or so!)
What kitchen staples do you like to make instead of buy?