Bread Crumbs

Bread Crumbs

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.

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