Start with a day-old loaf (it's a bit firmer and drier when it's not perfectly fresh) or a few leftover slices of white, wheat, semolina, or corn bread.
Cut the bread into small pieces that can break down easily in a food processor. Don't overstuff the bowl. Leave the crusts on for extra crunch and color, or discard as desired.
Pulse the bread in a food processor (I've heard a blender works, too) until finely ground with no large chunks.
Looking good. For super-fine crumbs, place them back in the food processor after toasting.
Spread crumbs onto a rimmed baking sheet and place in a pre-heated 250°F oven for 25 minutes.
Alternate option: Toast them lightly in oil or butter in a cast iron pan.
This is my method—it gives me time to prep some other ingredients for the meal—but you can speed up the process by using a 375°F oven for 10 minutes, or slow it down using a 200°F oven for up to an hour. Just be sure you don't take the toasting too far.
Here's what the finish product will look like if you're using a crusty loaf...
...and if you're using a soft white loaf.
Now the fun begins. Salt your crumbs, then sprinkle those babies with whatever seasonings suit your meal!
-Parmesan cheese, garlic, and dried herbs to top casseroles or bread cutlets
-Lemon zest, oregano, and mashed anchovy fillets for a salad or pasta topper
-Orange zest, currants, and minced parsley for stuffing chicken or fish
-Sage, melted butter, and nutmeg to top sweet potatoes or stuff squash