Ina Garten Debunks The Stale Bread Crumb Myth Once And For All

Look at many recipes for making breadcrumbs from scratch and you'll see they often call for stale bread. But is finding a forgotten loaf in the cabinet or waiting a day for day-old bread really necessary for making breadcrumbs? Beloved food personality Ina Garten has weighed in on this classic food debate and she claims there's no need to wait for your baked goods to be past their prime. 

During an appearance on "Today," Garten revealed that when making breadcrumbs, the age of the bread doesn't matter. Instead, it's the quality of the breadcrumb that is most important, which is why she skips the kind of breadcrumbs sold at the supermarket in favor of making them herself. 

Garten prefers the taste and texture of her own breadcrumbs and once told the Food Network, "This is one of those times when homemade is better than store-bought. Store-bought breadcrumbs are dry."

How Ina Garten makes breadcrumbs

When she makes breadcrumbs, Garten likes to use sourdough or white bread, according to her website. Her breadcrumb recipe is pretty simple to follow. First, it's important to cut off the crusts of whatever bread you use and slice the bread into cubes. Put those cubes through a food processor until you get crumbs. As she demonstrated on "Today," Garten simply mixed the crumbs with melted butter to use them as a topping for baked mac and cheese. The crumbs turn golden brown in the oven, no need to pre-toast them before adding them to the dish.

Garten uses her homemade breadcrumbs in an array of recipes, not just for her mac and cheese. One great benefit of making breadcrumbs yourself is that it also gives you the ability to control the flavor. Leave them plain, add a bit of salt, or mix in some spices to make your own version of seasoned crumbs. 

Garten herself likes to tweak her breadcrumbs depending on what she's making. For example, in her Mussels and Basil Bread Crumbs dish, shared by the Food Network, she likes to toast the bread cubes before blitzing them into the food processor with salt, pepper, and sundried tomatoes.