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Breading Mixes

Martha Stewart Living, February 2004

There isn't always day-old bread around when you need crumbs for chicken cutlets or fish fillets. When you do have stale bread, make a few seasoned blends and freeze them. We've come up with four breadcrumb mixes -- lemon and sage, almond and garam masala, coconut and lime, and Parmesan and oregano -- each requiring a half pound of bread.

Each of these recipes yields about two and a quarter cups breadcrumbs. Dip chicken cutlets or fish fillets in flour, next in beaten eggs, and then in seasoned breadcrumbs. Freeze unused breadcrumbs in a resealable plastic bag up to one month.

Lemon-Sage Breadcrumbs
1 loaf (8 ounces) day-old bread, crusts removed and bread cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
5 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper

Working in two batches, pulse bread cubes in a food processor to fine crumbs. Stir together breadcrumbs, zest, and sage. Stir in the salt, and season breadcrumbs with pepper.

Almond and Garam Masala Breadcrumbs
Follow recipe for Lemon-Sage Breadcrumbs, using 1/2 cup chopped, toasted sliced almonds and 2 teaspoons garam masala in place of zest and sage.

Coconut-Lime Breadcrumbs
Follow recipe for Lemon-Sage Breadcrumbs, using 1/2 cup toasted, unsweetened shredded coconut, 2 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lime zest (2 to 3 limes), and 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in place of lemon zest and sage.

Parmesan-Oregano Breadcrumbs
Follow recipe for Lemon-Sage Breadcrumbs, using 3 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried) and 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese in place of zest and sage. Decrease salt to 1 teaspoon.

Comments (12)

  • ghincz 17 Sep, 2008

    My mom and now me, we just put in a baggie and use a rolling pin.

  • Alabaxter 17 Sep, 2008

    You wouldn't leave bread out down here on the Gulf Coast. Roaches. Ants. All manner of creepy things get into the cleanest of clean homes. I wouldn't even put them on a cookie sheet in the oven. BUT - how about throwing them in the freezer and toasting them all at once??

  • AmandaNC 16 Sep, 2008

    If you dont have a food processor you can use a blender. I always make my own breadcrumbs. Any time we have bread with dinner there is bound to be a slice or two left over. I throw it on a cookie sheet in the oven and leave it until I have a tray full and zip it in the mini chopper. They are so much better than store bought (processed) breadcrumbs.

  • AmandaNC 16 Sep, 2008

    If you dont have a food processor you can use a blender. I always make my own breadcrumbs. Any time we have bread with dinner there is bound to be a slice or two eft over. I throw it on a cookie sheet in the oven and leave it until I have a tray full and zip it in the mini chopper. They are so much better than store bought (processed) breadcrumbs.

  • jo68 16 Sep, 2008

    I dont have a food processor so I put dried bread in a plastic bag then pound them
    good, roll to crush fine and there you are! I also leave the bread to dry overnight, covered with a teatowel on a cookie sheet. Been doing it for years. Its a great idea.

  • kickypants 16 Sep, 2008

    All I do for quick crumbs is throw a few slices in the toaster, cool and "crumb" the slices...no biggie.

  • cathybeckmason 16 Sep, 2008

    This is a wonderful idea. I do with with the day old bakery bread, either WW or Multigrain. I also think it is a great idea to add to my "pantry" type gift baskets.

  • strawflowers 16 Sep, 2008

    I dry mine in the oven, very very low heat to avoid molding.

  • Meemawtn 16 Sep, 2008

    I make bread crumbs all the time. I place the bread slices on paper towels and cover with another paper towel and let the slices dry out. This may take a day or two. Then put slices in a plastic bag closing all but a small corner. I then use a rolling pin to breakup the slices and roll until fine breadcrumbs. This saves me from cleaning the food processor. When using breadcrumbs I then just add what spices I like. I use Parmeasan cheese and sage then coat chicken or pork chops.

  • lisaskil 16 Sep, 2008

    Just make sure you FREEZE them. I thought I was so smart doing this ahead and storing them in plastic containers in my pantry. Imagine my surprise when I went to use them, only to find that they all had "green stuff" growing in them! (The store bought ones--full of preservatives--never had that problem.)

  • LisaAW 16 Sep, 2008

    To make the breaded mixture crunchier add 3-4 tablespoons of cornstarch to the mix. Also to make the mixture a bit more healthier; replace 1/2 the amount of bread crumbs with oatmeal that you grind until fine in your food precessor.
    Better for you, no one will notice and it also gives a slight nutty taste.

  • crazycaterer 22 Aug, 2008

    I am anxious to try these new breading mixes. I do use House of Autry seafood breader for Zucchini Fries and Yellow Squash Chips . I use a fry cutter for the zucchini fries and a mandolin slicer to chip the squash. It is amazing Drop in canola oil for a quick fry , dry on paper bag or towels keep warm in the oven serve with grilled meats or Hamburgers. My teenager who eat very few veggies love them.