Bread crumbs are used as a crisp topping for
casseroles or as a thickener to add body to sauces. It is an economical
way to use yesterday's bread. Use dried bread crumbs as a coating for
fried fish or as a crust for vegetable gratins. Fresh bread crumbs are
perfect for lighter crusts such as the classic coating for a roasted rack
of lamb. It's a good idea to use store-bought bread crumbs on hand, but
it's simple to make your own.
To make dried bread crumbs, use completely
dry or stale bread. Tear it into small pieces and grind it into crumbs in
a food processor. If your bread is still somewhat soft, slice it thinly
and place in a 250oF oven until completely dry. You can also
season the bread at this point by spraying with cooking spray and coating
with herbs. If you do not have a food processor or blender to make bread
crumbs, place slices of very dry, stale bread in a sturdy plastic bag and
crush with a rolling pin.
Dried bread crumbs could be stored by
keeping them in a zipper-lock plastic bag or an airtight plastic container
at room temperature for about 2 weeks or in the freezer for a few months.
Chef's Tip :
The next time you make a crumb coating mix for
oven-frying or sautéing, reach for a different base to make your
crumbs. Try one or a combination of the following to crush into
crumbs : flavored melba toasts, tortilla chips, crackers, dry bagged
stuffing mixed, pretzels or gingersnaps.