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A food ingredient made from bread that may be either a dry crumb or a fresh crumb. The dry crumb is typically available canned in finely ground particles that are used as toppings on foods or as a coating that is applied to the food prior to cooking. Dry crumbs can be purchased or made from bread that is toasted or baked in an oven and ground into smaller bits. The fresh bread crumbs are used on baked food dishes requiring a topping that may add substance, a crusty texture and an appeal to the appearance of the dish. The fresh crumb can be chopped or placed in a blender to provide a size and consistency that works best for the food being prepared. For storing, place fresh or dry bread crumbs in a freezer, stored separately in airtight containers.
If fine textured crumbs are too fine for the item being prepared, a coarse crumb can be created by using Italian or French bread. It is best to use "day old" bread that has dried more than fresh bread. Break off chunks of the bread to be placed in a blender and ground them into coarse crumbs. Remove the crumbs, place them evenly on a baking sheet and bake them for 10 to 15 minutes at 300°F, turning them periodically until they become golden brown or sufficiently dry for use. For every cup of bread crumbs required in a recipe, use 1½ cups of coarse ground fresh bread.