There are dry and fresh (or soft) breadcrumbs, and the two should not be used interchangeably. Fresh crumbs are made by placing bread slices (trimmed of crusts or not) in a food processor or blender and processing until the desired size of crumb is reached. They can be stored, tightly sealed, in the refrigerator for a week or frozen for at least six months. Fresh breadcrumbs give more texture to breaded dishes. Dry crumbs either plain or flavored can be purchased in any supermarket. Homemade dry crumbs are made by placing a single layer of bread slices on a baking sheet and baking at 300°F until completely dry and lightly browned. The slices are cooled before processing in a blender or food processor until the desired texture is achieved.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.