Twenty years ago, when I first started having signs of gluten intolerance and celiac disease, the pickings were slim when it came to store-bought breadcrumbs. Nowadays, there are numerous brands and flavors to choose from, most of which are rice based. My issue with most of the store-bought crumbs are their gummy texture once the food is baked or fried. I mean, who wants to pull up a chair to a dish of chicken cutlet Milanese only to find a soggy cutlet that has very little crunch? Not me! So I began to experiment, first with gluten free pretzels, then cornmeal, and finally toasted gluten free sandwich bread. The results? Really good, if I do say so myself! And, from a cost perspective (since we all know that gluten free products are considerably more than their non gluten free counterparts), you’ll get more bang for your buck if you make a batch of crumbs yourself. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container or mason jar in the pantry, which will ensure that the fruits of your labor stay fresh as long as possible! Feel free to use my seasoning suggestions below or tailor them to your family’s likes/dislikes. A list of more seasoning mix-ins are listed at the end of the post!
Pretzel & Cornmeal Breadcrumbs
Pretzel & Cornmeal Crumbs
- 7-8 ounces of gluten free salted pretzels (I usually buy Snyders brand or Glutino brand)
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1-2 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. sea salt (kosher salt is fine too)
- Step 1 Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of a food processor.
- Step 2 Turn on and allow the processor to run until you end up with a fine crumb. Store in an airtight container in the pantry for optimal freshness and shelf-life.
- 5 slices of gluten free bread, preferably Canyon Bakehouse, thawed if frozen and torn into 2 inch pieces.
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 1/8 tsp. ground mustard powder
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Step 2 In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the torn pieces of bread until they are fine.
- Step 3 Spread the breadcrumbs on a cookie sheet and toast them for about 6 minutes or until they are lightly golden. You don’t want them too dark or they’ll taste funny once fried or baked later.
- Step 4 Add the toasted crumbs back to the food processor along with the seasonings, pulse until well combined. Once pulsed, spread them back on the cookie sheet and allow them to dry out a little further, which ensures there is no moisture left in the bread and you won’t end up with soggy crumbs later. Store in an airtight container in the pantry for optimal freshness and shelf-life.
This recipe yields enough crumbs to coat about 5-6 medium-large thin-sliced chicken cutlets.
An important note on the sliced bread! Hands down, I prefer the Canyon Bakehouse brand of gluten free bread. I’ve tried them all, trust me. This one is the tastiest and has the BEST texture. And, the slices are a good size, too. To keep your gluten free bread fresh, I suggest storing it in the freezer and thawing a slice or two as you need it.
Ok, so here are some additional seasoning mix-in ideas:
- Cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes (if you prefer a little or a lot of heat!)
- Onion powder
- Italian seasoning (such as Mrs. Dash)
- Lemon pepper seasoning
- Dried herbs like rosemary, oregano or thyme (you want to use dried herbs here so they don’t burn during the cooking process)
- Cumin or curry powder if you prefer an Indian/Middle Eastern flavor (a little of these spices go a long way, so start out with a small amount; you can always add more the next time around)