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How to Make Rye Breadcrumbs for Nordic / Scandinavian Recipes

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Fast and fresh rye breadcrumbs

Homemade breadcrumbs from Nordic rye bread

photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed on 9/22/2011 to About.com
Not only is making your own fresh and dry breadcrumbs a snap (especially if you have a food processor), but you'll also discover that the different types of Scandinavian rye breads add a variety of exciting flavor elements to traditional applications. Need a slightly spicy, orange-toned topping for a fruit dessert or coffeecake? Grind up some Swedish limpa bread. Use fennel-spiced rye as a breading for fried fish or fish casseroles. Caraway rye is lovely when used as a breading for lamb or pork chops.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 cups breadcrumbs

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf rye bread (about 15 slices)
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway, fennel, or dill seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley or dill weed (optional)

Preparation:

Slice the rye bread, then remove and discard or reserve crusts for another use (Note: omitting the harder crumb ensures that your breadcrumbs will be uniform in texture).

Alternative #1: Place the bread (and spices / dried herbs, if using to season bread crumbs made from plain rye bread) in a food processor and process into either coarse or fine crumbs, depending upon their intended application. Use fresh breadcrumbs within a day of preparation; dry leftover crumbs in a 300° oven for 15 minutes, then store in the freezer.

Alternative #2, for dry breadcrumbs: Slice day-old (never stale) rye bread and toast in a 275° oven for 15 minutes, turning once halfway through the drying cycle. Process dried bread into crumbs in a food processor or place in a plastic bag and beat with a rolling pin to desired size.

Note - Fresh versus Dry Breadcrumbs: Use fresh breadcrumbs, which are better at absorbing moisture, as a great filler for meatballs or when called for as a key component in cake or cookie recipes. Dry breadcrumbs are better to use for breadings and some toppings, since they provide more of a crunch in contrast to the dishes they accentuate.

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