Cellulosic fiber composites and methods for preparing cellulosic fiber composites are provided. The cellulosic fiber composites comprise cellulosic material and a resin binder. The resin binder comprises protein hydrolysates and a synthetic resin. The synthetic resin can be phenolic resin, isocyanate resin, or combinations thereof. The protein hydrolysates provide a composite with a reduced amount of petrochemicals. The composite contains an amount of resin binder sufficient to bind the cellulosic material. The composite can also contain a silicone, silane, or combination thereof. The method employs a low moisture-content mat that does not require drying prior to pressing. Additional methods can be employed to produce finished cellulosic fiber composite articles.