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breadcrumbs = bread crumbs   Equivalents:  1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs = 4 slices bread; 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs = 3 slices bread.  Notes:   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.   To make your own:   Use stale (but not moldy) bread, or bake bread slices in a slow oven (200°) until slightly dry (for fresh bread crumbs) or very dry (for dry bread crumbs), and allow to cool.  Process the slices in a food processor, using a steel blade to make coarse crumbs, or a grating blade to make fine crumbs.  Season with salt, herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and/or lemon zest if you wish.    Substitutes:   panko (This is especially good with seafood; it has larger crumbs, stays crisp longer, and is considered better than ordinary bread crumbs.) OR cracker crumbs (3/4 cup cracker crumbs = 1 cup bread crumbs) OR croutons (crushed) OR stuffing (crushed) OR cornflake crumbs OR matzo meal OR other unsweetened cereal flakes OR potato flakes OR rice cakes (crushed) OR high-fiber cereal (as a nutritious topping or filler) 

breading   Notes:   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.  


cake crumbs  To make your own:   Crumble leftover cake (without frosting) or a store-bought pound cake.  Substitutes:  breadcrumbs 

chocolate wafer crumbs  To make your own:  Crumble store-bought chocolate wafers (Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers is a popular brand)  Substitutes:   Oreo cookie (Crush these, filling and all, in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.) OR graham cracker crumbs OR vanilla wafer crumbs

coating mix    Notes:   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 BakeŽ is a popular brand.   Substitutes:   cornflake crumbs (Add salt, paprika, onion powder, pepper, and other seasonings if you wish.) OR breadcrumbs OR cracker crumbs

cornbread crumbs = corn bread crumbs = crumbled cornbread = crumbled corn bread    Notes:    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.  Substitutes:  breadcrumbs

cornflake crumbs = crushed cornflakes   Equivalents:   3 cups whole cornflakes = 1 cup crushed   Notes:   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.  To make your own:   Put cornflakes in a plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin.  Three cups of whole cornflakes yield one cup of cornflake crumbs.  Substitutes:  breadcrumbs (dry and fine) OR panko OR cornmeal OR cracker meal OR melba toast (crushed and tossed with oil) OR other breakfast cereal flakes (crushed) OR corn chips (crushed) OR coating mix OR pretzels (crushed) 

cracker meal = cracker crumbs = crushed crackers   Notes:    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.   Substitutes:  breadcrumbs OR panko OR matzo meal OR cornflake crumbs


farfel  Pronunciation:   FAR-full   Notes:   Jewish cooks use the term farfel to refer to matzo or noodles that have been broken into small pieces.     Substitutes:  egg barley OR cracker meal OR crunchy chow mein noodles (crushed)


gingersnap crumbs   Notes:   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.  Substitutes:   graham cracker crumbs OR chocolate wafer crumbs OR vanilla wafer crumbs


graham cracker crumbs   Equivalents:  14 crackers = 1 cup crumbs.  Notes:  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.   Substitutes:  Vanilla wafer crumbs (These are sweeter, so add a bit less sugar to the crust mixture.) OR chopped nuts (1 cup graham cracker crumbs + 1 cup sugar = 1 1/2 cup chopped nuts + 1/8 cup sugar) OR chocolate wafer crumbs OR zwieback crumbs (works well in cheesecakes)


matzo meal = matzoh meal  Notes:   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.  To make your own:  Grind broken matzos in a food processor (using a steel blade) until they're ground into a coarse flour.  3 matzos = 1 cup matzo meal.  Substitutes:  bread crumbs OR cracker crumbs


panko = panko bread crumbs = panko breadcrumbs = Japanese bread crumbs = Japanese breadcrumbs = Japanese style breadcrumbs = Japanese style bread crumbs   Pronunciation:  PAN-koh  Notes:   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.  Substitutes:  breadcrumbs (not as coarse, doesn't stay crisp as long) OR cracker meal OR melba toast (crushed)


Shake 'N Bake  See coating mix.


stuffing = dressing = stuffing croutons   Notes:   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.  To make your own:   Slice bread into 1/4" cubes, place them on a baking sheet, and bake in a 300° oven until they're crisp and dry.   Substitutes:  breadcrumbs (coarse) OR croutons OR cornbread crumbs (softer consistency) OR rice OR potatoes

sweet biscuit crumbs  Substitutes:  graham cracker crumbs


vanilla wafer crumbs  Equivalents:  22 wafers = 1 cup crumbs.   Notes:   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.  Substitutes:   graham cracker crumbs OR chocolate wafer crumbs OR Oreo cookie (Crush these, filling and all, in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, and omit additional sugar, if any, in crust recipe.) OR crushed gingersnaps

Copyright © 1996-2005  Lori Alden