As a store cupboard ingredient, breadcrumbs are useful as:

  • An inexpensive filler that bulks out more expensive ingredients in dishes such as meatloaf and burgers.
  • A crisp topping, for example in ‘au gratin’ dishes such as cauliflower or macaroni cheese.
  • A crisp coating for fried foods.

What is important however, is to match the best variety of breadcrumb for its purpose:

Commercial golden crumbs are a matter of aesthetic taste but should be limited as a coating. These crumbs are made from bread that has been baked or toasted then ground to a fine, almost powder-like grain. They can range from a pale yellow colour to an artificial orange try out different brands but, sometimes it may be worth paying a couple of pennies more for a better quality product. Golden crumbs are a traditional choice for coating Scotch Eggs and Schnitzel.

Japanese panko crumbs have a light, flaky texture and are very absorbent. They are produced from crustless white bread and are an excellent choice for coating or toppings.

Home-made crumbs are best made from bread that is a day or two old and has had the crust removed. Prepare either using a food processor or box grater and is the right choice to use as a filler or in a stuffing.