Place the slices of bread in a brown paper bag and roll the top closed loosely. Set on a heat register for a couple of days and walla! My family has done this for generations to make Stuffing for the big ole bird.
I have been making my own bread crumbs for years. I usually leave the two first and last pieces of bread in the bag as I use up the "good slices". Then, when the 4 slices are left, I take them out of the bag,lay the bag out flat and sit the slices on the bag and let the bread air dry. Once they are sufficiantly dry I put them in a ziplock bag and store in my cupboard. It doesn't take long to accumulate enough slices to make crumbs. I put them through my blender until desired consistancy. No lumps!---When out of crumbs but in need of them quickly,l turn the oven on around 150%, spread fresh bread on a large cookie sheet and bake until dry.
Instead of the freezer after this keep the heels in a paper sack. They will dry just fine. I do this for bread crumbs and for bread for dressing.
I make bread crumbs out of dry OR fresh bread. Simply tear it into pieces and put it in your food processor. Spin a few times and you have nice fine bread crumbs for any use. If they need to be dried out, spread it on a cookie sheeet for an hour or so. Works like magic!!
If you have a gas oven - just place in on a cookie sheet & the pilot light will dry them out - afterwards you can keep them in a tupperware container until you want to use.
My g'ma did this for yrs & every thanksgiving my dad would go to her house pick up the tupperware container & then tear the stiff bread into pieces for his dressing(stuffing but not stuffed) - it was the best - he also used them for a porkchop bake where he softened the bread pieces like he was making dression & layered it w/chops & baked so the chops were buried into the dressing.... yum yum memmories...
if they are thin sliced, i put it in a large baking pan at 180 degrees (warm) for one hour, then let it sit in the oven after it is shut off for another. I then place it in a sturdy bag, like a freezer bag (clean & re-used) and squeeze the excess air out. I use a rolling pin and crush the dried bread, keeping the bag flat. Then I use my skimmer (flat round spoon with holes) to "sift" the big chunks out (they'll always be left behind, thanks to the crust!) Those I leave for stuffing or for the birds if too hard. The rest (only about a cup or so!) I mix with italian seasoning and garlic powder for bread crumbs, and store in the refridgerator or freezer for long term.
There may be an "easier way with a food processor or something, but this is how I learned to do it. And we don't use them very much, so we don't bother to buy crumbs. We end up eating the heels too, so we reserve portions of homemade bread for this.
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