Bread crumbs or breadcrumbs (regional variants: breading, crispies) consist of crumbled
bread Bread is a staple food prepared from a dough of flour and water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and Color of water, nearly colorless chemical substance, wh ...
of various dryness, sometimes with seasonings added, used for breading or crumbing foods, topping
casserole A casserole (French language, French: diminutive of ''casse'', from Provençal dialect, Provençal ''cassa'' 'pan') is a variety of a large, deep cookware and bakeware, pan or bowl used for cooking a variety of dishes in the oven; it is also a ca ...
s, stuffing
poultry Poultry () are domesticated bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Aves , characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the Oviparity, laying of Eggshell, hard-shelled eggs, a hi ...
stew A stew is a combination of solid food ingredients that have been Cooking, cooked in Soup, liquid and served in the resultant gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables and may include meat, especially tougher meats sui ...
s, adding inexpensive bulk to soups, meatloaves and similar foods, and making a crisp and crunchy covering for fried foods, especially breaded cutlets like tonkatsu and
. The Japanese variety of bread crumbs is called ''panko''.


Dry breadcrumbs

Dry breadcrumbs are made from dry breads which have been baked or toasted to remove most remaining moisture, and may have a sandy or even powdery texture. Bread crumbs are most easily produced by pulverizing slices of bread in a food processor, using a steel blade to make coarse crumbs, or a grating blade to make fine crumbs. A grater or similar tool will also do.

Fresh breadcrumbs

The breads used to make soft or fresh bread crumbs are not quite as dry, so the crumbs are larger and produce a softer coating, crust, or stuffing. The ''crumb'' of ''bread crumb'' also refers to the texture of the soft, inner part of a bread loaf, as distinguished from the crust, or "skin".


is a variety of flaky bread crumb used in
Japanese cuisine Japanese cuisine encompasses the regional and traditional foods of Japan, which have developed through centuries of political, economic, and social changes. The traditional cuisine of Japan (Japanese language, Japanese: ) is based on rice with ...
as a crunchy coating for fried foods, such as '' tonkatsu''. ''Panko'' is made from bread baked by electrical current, which yields a bread without a crust, and then grinding the bread to create fine slivers of crumb. It has a crisper, airier texture than most types of breading found in Western cuisine and resists absorbing oil or grease when fried, resulting in a lighter coating. Outside Japan, its use is becoming more popular in both Asian and non-Asian dishes. It is often used on seafood and is often available in Asian markets, speciality stores, and, increasingly, in many large
supermarket A supermarket is a self-service shop offering a wide variety of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''orga ...
s. ''Panko'' is produced worldwide, particularly in Asian countries, including Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, China, and Vietnam.


The Japanese first learned to make bread from Europeans. The word ''パン粉 (panko)'' is derived from ''pan'', giving us the word for bread in Japanese (derived from the Portuguese word “pão” for bread), and ''-粉 (-ko)'', a Japanese Kanji indicating "flour", "coating", "crumb", or "powder" on occasion, when used as a suffix; (as in ''komeko'', "rice powder", ''sobako'', "buckwheat flour", and ''komugiko'', "wheat flour").


Breading (also known as crumbing) is a dry grain-derived food coating for a piece of food made from bread crumbs or a breading mixture with seasonings. Breading is well suited for frying as it lends itself to creating a crisp coating around the food. Breading mixtures can be made of breadcrumb, flour, cornmeal, and seasoning that the item to be breaded is dredged in before cooking. If the item to be breaded is too dry for the coating to stick, the item may first be moistened with buttermilk, raw egg (food), egg, egg wash or other liquid. Breading contrasts with batter (cooking), batter, which is a grain-based liquid coating for food that produces a smoother and finer texture, but which can be softer overall.

In popular culture

In the fairy tale "Hansel and Gretel", breadcrumbs are used by Hansel and Gretel to track their footpath. However, the bread crumbs were eventually eaten by birds, subsequently leading them to become lost in the woods. The popularity of breadcrumbs in the fairy tale led to the use of the word "Breadcrumb (navigation), breadcrumb" as a navigation element that allows users to keep track of their locations within programs or documents.

Image gallery

File:Panko - Paprika - 3.jpg, Panko breadcrumbs with paprika flavour File:Panko - White - 2.jpg, Panko white breadcrumbs File:971027-I'ANS-ATN-IMG 8772.jpg, IANS simple breadcrumbs File:Tonkatsu at Butagumi in Nishi-Azabu.jpg, alt=Close up of Japanese breaded tonkatsu, Panko on Tonkatsu File:971110-ILIA-Vanak-IMG 8870-2.jpg, alt=Fried shrimp, Fried shrimp with panko breadcrumbs File:980722-Recipe-05-Shrimps-IMG 8660.jpg, alt=Shrimps with Panko, Shrimps coated by panko breadcrumbs File:990402-ians-recipe-01-IMG 4724.jpg, alt=Bread with filling cut in half, Crispy breads with chicken and corn


{{Authority control Food ingredients Breads, Crumbs Food industry