Do you prefer dried bread crumbs or fresh?

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9 Comments

swedishturkey July 18, 2019
We always have made these with store-bought breadcrumbs, not fresh. It's possible that fresh breadcrumbs would work just as well though; we just haven't tried it. We found that it makes a huge difference to warm the milk, and add the breadcrumbs until they soak up all of the milk. Then add that to the meat mixture. Adding the milk and breadcrumbs separately doesn't achieve the same texture for us.
 
Lori T. July 17, 2019
I don't use "fresh" breadcrumbs, but rather closer to "day old" bread to make crumbs for German style meatballs and I find the Swedish variety are close kin to them so I'd expect the crumbs used for them would be the same. What you are making is a panade, in fancy cooking terms. It helps keep the meatballs tender by preventing the meat from squeezing out all it's moisture during cooking. If you don't have day old bread to use, you can also use the panko variety- but you need a bit more milk to make it into the mush-paste. Dry crumbs are only really useful for breading things for frying, or topping a casserole. I make my own crumbs using the end bits of bread loaves, or any that has begun to dry after a few days. I keep it stashed in the refrigerator, and don't bother about if it came from white, wheat or multigrain bread. My own frugal German grandmother drummed it into my head that tossing out bread was a sin. That's where breadcrumbs came from. She also told me that not eating the crusts was also a sin- and I avoid that by including them in the crumb mix.
 
Gammy July 17, 2019
I would think as you are adding these to the milk and then to the meat mixture they would be fresh bread crumbs. Easy to make in a food processor: Tear country or homestyle bread (something that has a firm texture to it, not like Wonder bread) into pieces and pulse until you get the texture of crumbs you like. I typically use fresh bread crumbs when incorporating into a dish to help keep moisture in and dry bread crumbs on the surface, as on a casserole or chicken parmesan for crispness.
 
GrandmaNoni July 17, 2019
Hi Grammy, for some reason I didn’t see your note. Yes, fresh bread crumbs are what I was thinking of too, except that the recipe calls for plain breadcrumbs which made me wonder if I should buy the prepared kind in a can since they’re sold as plain or seasoned. But I’ll try with fresh.
 
Gammy July 17, 2019
Save your money and make your own bread crumbs, fresh or dry and they won't be stale and will be flavored exactly as you wish. PS. Do the same with grated Parmesan cheese... spring for a chunk of the real Italian Parmesan and grate as needed... you won't believe the difference in taste over the stuff called cheese in the green can.
 
GrandmaNoni July 17, 2019
I know what you mean about grating fresh Parmesan,they’re so different that the pre-grated might as well be called by a different name. Reminds me of whipped cream out of can as opposed to whipping it with a hand mixer. They’re two different flavors and consistencies, the second far superior across the board to the first.
 
Smaug July 17, 2019
I don't think you could make crumbs out of fresh bread. Some people use torn up bread soaked in milk for similar purposes.
 
GrandmaNoni July 17, 2019
Actually, one of my meatloaf recipes call for fresh bread crumbs. They’re easy to make as long as you use bread with some heft to it, just toss in a mini food processor and give it a whirl. As for this recipe, I was wondering how much fat needs to be absorbed, am I going for a tighter, drier consistency or a looser, fattier one. Either way, I expect this will be delicious in part because lingonberries are included as an accompaniment, and that’s Swedish to the core.
 
Smaug July 17, 2019
Hm- have to try it- now I need an excuse to use some bread crumbs. I was probably using a blender when last I tried it.
 
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