Crumbs

Crumbs
breadcrumbs
breadcrumbs
These are used for breading foods, topping casseroles, stuffing poultry, thickening stews, and adding inexpensive bulk to meatloaves, hamburgers, and fish cakes. Dry breadcrumbs are made from very dry bread, and make for a crispy, crunchy coating for fried foods. The bread that's used to make soft or fresh bread crumbs isn't as dry, so the crumbs produce a softer coating, crust, or stuffing. Almost any bread can be used to make breadcrumbs, but crusty French or Italian bread works especially well.
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breading
breading
Breading adds a crisp coating to fried foods. Breadcrumbs are most commonly used, but crumbs from crackers, breakfast cereals, melba toast, matzos, pretzels, and corn chips also work well. To bread meat and seafood, first dry the pieces completely, then dust them with a light coating of flour. Next dip them in a mixture of eggs mixed with a little milk, water, or oil, then dredge the pieces in the breading. Refrigerate them for about an hour before frying them.
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coating mix
coating mix
Time-challenged cooks toss chicken pieces or pork chops into bags filled with this seasoned crumb mix, then place them on a pan and bake them. Shake 'N Bake® is a popular brand.
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cornbread crumbs
cornbread crumbs
This is used to bread or stuff poultry and fish. Packaged cornbread crumbs are available in the baking supplies section of many supermarkets, or you can make your own by crumbling cooled cornbread.
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cornflake crumbs
cornflake crumbs
This is used as a colorful breading for meat and fish, and as a topping for casseroles. You can buy cornflakes already crushed, or buy whole cornflakes and crush them yourself.
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cracker meal
cracker meal
These crushed crackers are used as a breading for meat and fish. When the food is fried, the crumbs provide a crunchy coating. Look for it in the baking goods section of your supermarket, or make your own by putting crackers in a plastic bag and crushing them with a rolling pin.
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farfel
farfel
Jewish cooks use the term farfel to refer to matzo or noodles that have been broken into small pieces.
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gingersnap crumbs
gingersnap crumbs
These are used for pie crusts and to sprinkle on desserts. Markets occasionally carry these crumbs, but you'll probably have to buy whole gingersnaps and crush them yourself.
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graham cracker crumbs
graham cracker crumbs
These mildly sweet crumbs make a terrific cheesecake or pie crust. Look for the crumbs in baking supplies section, or buy whole graham crackers and crush them yourself. Many markets also carry readymade graham cracker pie crusts.
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matzo meal
matzo meal
Jews use this during Passover to make pancakes, matzo balls, and other dishes. Many stores also carry matzo cake meal, which is a finer grind of matzo meal.
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panko
panko
Panko breadcrumbs have a coarser texture than ordinary breadcrumbs, and they make for a much lighter and crunchier casserole topping and coating for deep-fried foods. They're especially good for breading seafood. Tan-colored panko is made from the whole loaf, white panko from bread with the crusts cut off. Look for both kinds in the Asian foods section of larger supermarkets.
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stuffing
stuffing
This is usually put inside a whole turkey to absorb flavorful juices while the bird roasts, but it can also be baked in a casserole dish. It's usually made of small bread cubes or shredded pieces of bread that have been dried. Commercial stuffing is convenient, but not as fresh-tasting as homemade stuffing.
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vanilla wafer crumbs
vanilla wafer crumbs
These are often used to make pie crusts. To make them, place vanilla wafers in a heavy plastic bag, seal, then crush the wafers with a rolling pin.
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