Umami Breadcrumbs

6 March 2024 Dairy Free
There are a few things that make my heart hurt. Unfinished loaves of good quality sourdough that may be left to waste is one of them. Given how much a loaf costs these days, or the love that goes into making your own boules, I cringe at the thought of chucking out the ends. So I make breadcrumbs.

These umami packed crispy sprinkles of joy are definitely my favourite version, perfect for topping salads, vegetables, pastas or simply as a nibble while making something else.  Just don’t tell the anchovy haters what’s in them, they will devour them in blissful ignorance. 

For the Breadcrumbs

  • 150g breadcrumbs (approx 2 slices of stale sourdough with crusts removed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or butter)
  • 1 tin (approximately 12) anchovies
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed with a good pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp Aleppo pepper or 1/2 tsp chili flakes (or half a sliced fresh red chili)
  • zest of one lemon
  • small bunch of parsley (and or tarragon, chives), finely chopped

Blitz the bread in a food processor until the crumbs are fine but still have a little texture (mine are never completely uniform, probably because I’m impatient).

Place a medium sized saucepan on the heat and add the oil (or butter).  Tip in the anchovies and let them melt into the oil, stirring to help them along.  Add the crushed garlic and Aleppo or chili alternative and stir everything together, making sure they do not burn. 

Tip in the breadcrumbs and toast them in the umami oil until they are golden and crunchy.  Take off the heat and add chopped parsley and lemon zest.  Allow to cool.  These can be make in advance and will keep for 2 days in a sealed container.

Have you made this dish?

Let me know what you think, share your efforts and any tweaks you made to the recipe on Instagram, don’t forget to tag #BuildingFeasts or email me on