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Total Frustration over the Existence of Bread Crumbs

I have a recipe that calls for "fresh bread crumbs" — just what the hell are those? Does it mean to process fresh bread in a food processor till they're crumbs?

We don't know why you're swearing at us. We're sitting here minding our own business, typing with one hand and cooking some of the world's great foods with the other*, wishing we could share the aroma with you, and you start swearing at us! What's up with that?

Anyway, there are several types of bread crumbs. Fresh bread crumbs are indeed something you essentially make yourself. They are soft and more or less the size of peas. You can gently pick pieces of bread apart with a fork, or, if you have a food processor, tear the bread into big pieces and pulse eight or ten times until you have the right consistency. Two slices of bread will produce a cup of crumbs.

Dried bread crumbs can also be made at home in the same way, using bread dried at a low temperature in the oven. The result here is crumbs that are much finer. Four slices will yield a cup of crumbs. If you brown the bread in the oven, use toast, or melba toast or zwieback, you'll produce brown bread crumbs. If you dry the bread in the oven with butter, you'll produce buttered bread crumbs.

You can, of course, purchase any of dozens of brands of dried crumbs in the grocery store or online, ranging from unflavored or Japanese panko-based to Italian or corn-bread-based.

*OK, we're totally lying. We can barely type using both hands — we wouldn't even try it with one.

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