As I have mentioned before, I never quite jumped on the panko bandwagon. Panko is expensive when store bought and often I find too large to properly stick as a coating. Honestly to me they have always seemed like snooty breadcrumbs which I could happily live without.
However after reading up on panko I realized they are just large, jagged breadcrumbs which I could make cheaply and a bit smaller so they would stick better but still absorb less oil than breadcrumbs, resulting in a crisper crust. Some sources such as Chow.com claim the bread used to make the crumbs must be crustless to differentiate them from regular breadcrumbs.
Either way I made some today with 1/4 of hard, leftover Buttermilk Honey Bread and they were SO good and made a huge pan full in minutes!
Try it today and you will never buy store bought again.
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
Cut bread into 1-2″ cubes and pulse in food processor until desired size. Lay out on cookie sheet and bake at 300f for 5 minutes, stir, then bake another 2- 5 minutes or until they feel dry but are not toasted/browned.
Cool and use in recipes, store in a jar for a week or so or freeze for later use.