How not to make bread crumbs…

Other methods are available, but here is my proof-fool way with bread crumbs.

First spend nearly thirty quid on the Tartine Bread book by Chad Robertson. Don’t worry about all those other bread books on the shelves, as such matters needn’t detain us here.

Next mess up a batch of his French country bread. This takes dedication as making that bread is spread over two or three days.

Marvel at bread that is tasty but heavy. When a batch sticks to the tea towels in the proving basket, feel free to swear like you never usually swear.

Keep one flat loaf out to have an argument with your teeth and pop the other in the freezer. Defrost the frozen flat loaf later, despair at its density, and decide to make bread crumbs instead, having abandoned all hope of eating that bread any other way.

Cut the rubbery bread into cubes, toss in olive oil, sprinkle on sea-salt and place on a tray in a hot oven. Bake for 15 minutes or so, shaking halfway through.

Place the golden cubes of bread/concrete in a food processor, blitzing until you have a mixture of crumbs and blitz-resistant chunks of toast. Tip on the worksurface and assault with a rolling pin, making sure to send crumbs and bready scraps onto the floor. Admire bread with the crust of all crusts, the body-builder crust of crusts.

Mop your brow and put the shatterproof bread back into the food mixer for another blitz. Continue until you have enough to fill two containers. Place in the freezer, possibly to be forgotten until defrosting day when you may well say: “What on earth’s this? Ah, those bread crumbs.”

If you don’t want to mess up, just use any old bread you have lying around. But where’s the fun in that?

On Instagram you will discover, should you wish, endless photographs of perfectly executed loaves, some decorated with a latticework of cuts. I stare at that show-offy bread in nerdy, kneady awe. None of my creations are good enough for such floury selfies, although various loaves have been left out to cool on Facebook in the past.

When you bake, things go wrong, and the trick is working out why. All that insta-perfection can be daunting, so that’s why I pass on this how-not-to recipe.

Final hint: make sure to vacuum the floor before you wife sees the mess you’ve made.

Leave a Reply