Monday, August 2, 2010

Bread Crumbs

Bread crumbs are not available in supermarkets here!
Such a mundane ingredient...
And a commonly required item in Joy of Cooking recipes. (The only cookbook I brought with me)

In the Netherlands, bread is baked fresh by each supermarket and sold that day... There are no cans or bags of breadcrumbs. Old bread is from the same day, but unsold at the end of the day and heavily discounted. Bizarre! American bread is made in a centralized factory and sits on the shelf forever after being shipped long distances.

Luckily, Dutch people seem to love pre-made toast as much as they love their fresh bread. Pre-made toast comes in endless different varieties and has a long shelf life. It's very brittle and if you crush it, it makes very good breadcrumbs for recipes. Use a fork, or use your hands if you are feeling super grumpy and want to smash something.

This is how I breaded some cauliflower last week.
(The fork is just for show)


  1. You can also just take a day old bread, slice it, and bake it in the oven until it's really dry, and then do the same thing with it.

    But of course, the pre-made toast works too :)

  2. Crush "beschuit" with a fork? Break one in two and crush each half in your hand. Very satisfactory.
    (I never would have described beschuit as pre-made toast. It's not even bread, but then I really wouldn't know how to translate it.)

  3. Hi Portlandize! Seems like so much work :)

    Frits, google translates it as "rusk" or "biscuit." But it looks and tastes like dried up bread! Is there a particular topping for it?

  4. Yes, beschuit are made with bread dough. They are 'double baked' to utter crispness. Yum! Delicious with butter and jam on a lazy sunday morning.

    They are a special food for when a baby is born. The new parents treat family, friends, neighbours and collegues on 'beschuit met muisjes':


  5. I think you are looking for paneermeel.

  6. Alicia,
    you DEFINIATELY need to find Pannermeel, (tip: there's a German brand box around in most supermarkets, it's four times the size as the dutch one, cheaper and just as good). DO be aware that European breadcrumbs are much finer in texture than something like Panko which has 'big' crumbs/flakes in comparison.
    If you need a hand just let me know :)