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What Are Bread Crumbs Used For?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 April 2014
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Bread crumbs are made by grinding stale bread, and they have all sorts of uses around the kitchen. Many companies sell them already made, usually in airtight containers so that they do not get soggy. It is also possible to make bread crumbs at home from unused bread which has gone stale. These can be stored in the freezer until they are needed. Many are also seasoned, in which case they can be used for specific things. Keeping them unseasoned allows a cook to use them in a wide variety of situations, so many cooks keep plain crumbs around instead.

One of the classic uses for bread crumbs is as a breading. Breading is a layer on the outside of food that is fried or sauteed. Typically, the food is dredged in a milk and egg mixture before being lightly brushed with flour and then rolled in bread crumbs. The crumbs make a crispy, flavorful outer coating that also helps to prevent the inside of the food from getting greasy.

Like bread, bread crumbs also make excellent filler in things like quiches, frittatas, and puddings. One variety of bread pudding is made with crumbs, rather than chunks of bread, for example. They will also give a quiche more body and help to make foods seem less heavy. In addition, they will reduce the overall cost of a dish such as a frittata by decreasing the amount of eggs and other expensive ingredients needed.

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Many casseroles also call for a topping of bread crumbs, which form a browned, crispy crust on the surface of the cooked dish. In this case, lightly seasoned crumbs are usually dressed with butter or oil before baking, so that they will brown in the oven. A baked dish topped this way will have more texture, and the inside will be more moist and flavorful, since the top layer keeps the innards from drying out.

Ingredients like celery, carrots, and water chestnuts can be mixed with bread crumbs and other seasonings for a savory stuffing. Seasoned vegetables such as artichokes, zucchini, and bell peppers can be stuffed thusly, and crumbs can also be used for more ambitious stuffing projects, like turkey. For larger stuffings, they usually form a smaller proportion of the total ingredients, so that they do not wind up in a solid mass.

As many readers of fairy tales know, bread crumbs can potentially be used to lay a trail. However, in regions with large animal populations, such a trail tends to be eaten, so woodland adventurers may want to consider carrying more long lasting trail markers such as small stones or surveyors tape.

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Discuss this Article

anon220492
Post 4

In response to post 2, I take stale french bread, slice off the edges and then make slices out of the rest. Then brush them with olive oil & season them, you could bake them as usual. These make a quick crunchy snack. You should be able to do the same with your sesame oil recipe.

As for just plain bread crumbs, I just put my sliced stale bread in the oven, pilot light only and in a day or two, they're ready to blend.

galen84basc
Post 3

I have never understood why people buy bread crumbs -- they're just so easy to make that it's a shame to spend eight dollars on some fancy organic bread crumbs when you can make the same thing at home for much less.

Here's the way I do it:

Take any bread you like (really, any kind. Organic, non organic, white, wheat, whatever.)

Preheat your oven to about 175 or 200 degrees F -- a higher temperature will give you a more "toast-like" taste.

Then place the slices of bread on a baking sheet in your oven. Keep them in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until they start getting crispy.

Then you can take them out, let them cool down, and then throw them in the blender or food processor until you get the size you want.

Just a note -- this doesn't work for fresh bread crumbs, this is only for dried ones. For fresh ones, just put your bread out on the counter, let it dry a little, then tear it up into bits before putting it in the food processor. You'll definitely have better results.

TunaLine
Post 2

Can you give me some tips on making bread crumbs with flavorings? I tried some Japanese bread crumbs from a brand that's now gone out of business that were seasame-oil flavored, but I can't for the life of me figure out how to get that flavor onto the bread crumbs that I make at home.

If I put the oil on the bread while it's drying, it doesn't dry properly, and they just get all soggy and gross. So what should I do? Is there even a way that I can do this at home, or should I just give up on it and try to find another brand that sells sesame oil flavored bread crumbs?

Or, alternatively, does anybody know where to buy bread crumbs like that? Is there some sort of website for gourmet bread crumbs out there that somebody could point me to?

Let me know; I'm dying to use those bread crumbs again!

EarlyForest
Post 1

Bread crumbs are one of those things that you really should just keep on hand if you cook often -- it's so irritating to be right in the middle of something and then need them!

I am a long time Panko bread crumbs fan, although my grandmother was very picky about her dry bread crumbs, and would only use ones that she had made herself.

When I'm feeling really fancy, I do that too, but for most meals that I use bread crumbs for, I just break out the Panko container. They've just got so many flavors and herbs and what not, it really is a very versatile choice for any recipe that calls for breading.

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