Fresh breadcrumbs can be easily made and they have a moist and light, open texture. To make fresh breadcrumbs, remove the crusts from slices of day-old white or brown bread, place in a food processor or blender and pulse until finely chopped. Dried breadcrumbs are made from bread that has been toasted or baked to remove all the moisture. They are then processed to make very fine crumbs.
Uses: Fresh breadcrumbs are used in a wide variety of sweet and savoury dishes such as toppings for gratins, to coat meat or fish fillets and in puddings and desserts. Combine fresh breadcrumbs with finely chopped fresh herbs or lemon or lime zest to add extra flavour to savoury dishes.
To store: Fresh breadcrumbs can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Two types of dried breadcrumbs are available - natural and golden (with paprika). They are sold in cartons with perforations and a spout and can be sprinkled directly from the carton.
Uses: Breadcrumbs can be used to coat fish or meat fillets (often chicken or pork) before cooking - as well as providing a contrasting crunchy texture they help to seal in moisture of the food that is coated. Breadcrumbs can also be used for adding a crunchy topping to pasta bakes or vegetable dishes (they are good mixed with grated cheese) and for making stuffings.
To store: Store in a cool, dry place and use by the best before date.
To use: To coat meat or fish in breadcrumbs a layer of moisture needs to be applied to the fillet first, to give the breadcrumbs a layer to adhere to. Dip the fillet in flour, then beaten egg and finally in the breadcrumbs for best results.