I walked into the kitchen the other day and groaned. There were some bread crumbs left after I made a batch for cod cakes. I forgot about them and, as you can see, they turned moldy. Gah! Homemade gluten-free bread costs time and ingredients. And store bought gluten-free bread isn't cheap. So this was a total waste of food, ingredients, and time.
To prevent the bread crumbs from turning moldy, all I needed to do was toast the fresh bread crumbs in a dry, hot skillet and they would have been fine. (In case you're wondering, I don't like freezing fresh bread crumbs because gluten-free bread crumbs tend to absorb moisture and become gummy, affecting the final recipe.)
Here's the step-by-step:
Make fresh bread crumbs. Tear slices of bread into large pieces and place in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until crumbs form.
Use what you need. I divide the crumbs into two bowls. I work from the first and add more crumbs as needed. This prevents raw meat or fish from touching the crumbs. If any raw meat or fish touches the bread crumbs, discard the leftover crumbs. They aren't safe to keep. And if you aren't sure? Ditch ‘em. Food safety is the top priority in the kitchen.
Toast ‘Em. If you don't have many bread crumbs left, heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the bread crumbs to the skillet and toast until brown and dry. Be sure to stir the bread crumbs often to prevent them from burning.
If you made waaaaaay too many bread crumbs, spread crumbs evenly onto a rimmed baking sheet. Preheat oven to 325°F. Toast crumbs, stirring occasionally, until bread crumbs are brown and dry.
Store ‘Em. Spread the warm crumbs out on a baking sheet to cool. This allows steam to escape. If you place warm crumbs in a bag, the steam is captured and the crumbs will mold. We don't want moldy crumbs!