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Mar 9, 2011 12:20 PM

Fresh bread crumbs -- storage?

I'm always seeing fresh bread crumbs in recipes, but I'm reluctant to haul out the food processor just for a garnish. It occurs to me that, for all I know, fresh bread crumbs may take perfectly well to the fridge or freezer, so that I could make a batch and just leave them in one or the other. Thoughts on whether this would work?

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  1. Better stored dry like dry cereal. Moisture could be an issue. I think working small batches is best. I whirl day old bread in the food processor about a weeks worth at a time.

    4 Replies
    1. re: HillJ

      Would they get (overly) stall or moldy after more than a week?

      1. re: JohnSmith2

        Breadcrumbs are stale dry bread to begin with, right.
        I only make what I intend to use in a week.
        Never had a mold issue with dry breadcrumbs but keeping them in a frig long term
        or defrosting them out of the freezer and leaving them long term..that might be result in a mold problem.
        If you're going to try homemade, work in small batches.

      2. re: HillJ

        I think the OP is asking about "fresh" breadcrumbs, which are made from fresh soft bread - NOT dry breadcrumbs, which are made from stale or toasted bread.

        Best to keep fresh breadcrumbs in the fridge or the freezer. If frozen though, thaw carefully as they can come out a bit soggy sometimes if any ice crystals have developed in the container.

        1. re: Breezychow

          Even with fresh bread; not day old bread I'd go small batch and avoid refrig or freezer. Bread in its whole form does loose flavor when cold/frozen; breadcrumbs turn to tasteless filler (imho).

      3. My favorite fresh bread crumbs are made from hamburger/hot dog buns because they fry up light and crispy. So when I have a bunch leftover I pull out the big processor and make them all. I then put them back into that bag--so I know what kind of crumbs they are--and stash them in the freezer. When I need some I just break off a chunk and defrost slightly in the microwave. They're fine for about a month. I also will sometimes take half of them and do the early prep for meatballs which means processing in some Romano, garlic and lots of parsley. Those I pull out ahead of time and let thaw prior to adding the rest of the meatball ingredients.

        1. Fridge temps are terrible for bread (it gets stale, hard & moldy faster than at room temperature), definitely freeze it. I've never tried freezing breadcrumbs per se, but it has to work better than the fridge.

          You can also make small amounts of bread crumbs with one of those box-shaped graters and since it's just bread, it won't leave a big mess that needs major cleaning.

          8 Replies
          1. re: MikeG

            Bread does not mold faster at refrigerated temperatures. Cold retards the growth of molds.

            1. re: chefj

              Just make sure the bag the crumbs are in don't get wet in the frig.

              1. re: HillJ

                or if you store them out side the refrigerator either.

              2. re: chefj

                I dunno, that's what I've read and that wasn't my experience. I really don't know which molds are most likely to infect wheat bread, but as a general rule, there are molds that grow well comfortabaly in all manner of "normal" temperatures as long as there's moisture present. But I readily I admit I have a personal sample size of only one. And it was almost 30 years ago and I should have but didn't take a picture of it. (g) But the colors that unopened loaf of bread turned within a few days of putting it in the fridge were enough to convince me never to do it again. Apart from it happening scarily quickly, I still remember the orange overgrowth over green-white background with black specks all over, it was really quite remarkable.(lol) A freak maybe. Have you found bread keeps well in the fridge?

                1. re: MikeG

                  It does not do the texture or flavor any favors (except wonder bread and the like which seems unaffected by everything) but it does inhibit mold growth. Mold can still grow but it is slowed.
                  Perhaps your loaf was already on its way out?
                  There are many types of molds that can grow on bread, Penicillium, Aspergillus, Rhizopus, Monascus, and Fusarium.
                  They do need moisture to grow whether it is refrigerated or not.

                  1. re: MikeG

                    I'll bet your plastic-wrapped loaf sat in the sun in your car or on your counter, or that it was a hot day. Condensation from rapid chilling will turn a fresh loaf into a rotting zombie in short order. Different breads have different half-lives. My current favorite is Martin's whole wheat potato bread. Though it is Wonder Bread-soft, it has a short list of identifiable ingredients, no HFCS or preservatives. I've had it in both fridge and at room temp, without deterioration, for a month. I have yet to have a loaf around long enough to get moldy so Lord knows how long it lasts. It makes good fresh breadcrumbs, too. I always freeze those and thaw in fridge before finally bringing them to room temp on the counter.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Are those the rolls with the P.A. dutch pattern on the label? I haven't seen them in years! Must not distribute this far west.

                      1. re: chefj

                        Yes, there is a sort of PA Dutch border on the label, which says something about the Dutch taste, and they are made in Chambersburg PA. They make regular potato and whole wheat potato loaves and hamburger rolls, but for hot dog buns sadly, not the whole wheat.

              3. Freeze the bread before you process and after, works great!
                Most applications for fresh bread crumbs are not reliant on the bread for flavor so it is not really a concern. They are either as a coating, binder or a neutral filler.

                9 Replies
                1. re: chefj

                  Unless you process a flavored bread.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    I have never seen a recipe call for flavored bread to be turned in to bread crumbs but if you did I guess that that would be true.

                    1. re: chefj

                      One example, whirl garlic bread into breadcrumbs and use to make crabcakes.
                      Another example, spinach and red pepper bread, whirl and use in egg bake recipe or as a coating for chicken breasts.

                      1. re: HillJ

                        Most recipes call for seasoning the bread crumbs not using flavored breads, I am sure that you can find recipes that call for the latter but they are not typical.

                        1. re: chefj

                          So funny we're having this mini conversation about flavored breadcrumbs. While in WF late last night they were making three diff flavors; one involved grated cheese and I immediately thought of this thread and the storage/mold issue. Your thoughts?

                          1. re: HillJ

                            You mean that they were making flavored bread crumbs or making flavored breads into bread crumbs?
                            It is fairy common to add things to your bread crumbs i.e. Italian bread crumbs but I still think that is pretty rare to find a recipe that calls for flavored bread to be made into crumbs.

                            1. re: chefj

                              They were making crumbs out of flavored bread loafs and adding grated cheese.

                              1. re: HillJ

                                Like I said before I have never seen a recipe that called for flavored bread turned to crumbs and i have been cooking for a long time..

                                1. re: chefj

                                  Well, chefj-there's always a first time to learn something. I've been in the kitchen a good long while myself and flavored bread crumbs made from flavored bread has been in many a recipe I've made. I won't trouble you anymore on the subject.

                                  To the OP, if I can offer any add'l help just holler :)