Panko Bread Crumbs
Panko bread crumbs are a Japanese style bread crumb that stays light and crispy. The crumbs are kept larger than conventional breadcrumbs and they work better in most things, giving better flavor and texture. Panko simply means breadcrumb in Japanese. It has become so popular that it is now available worldwide and in most grocery stores.
While you may hear that the Panko crumbs are crispier because the crusts are removed this simply isn’t true.
There are two types of Panko crumbs:
- White Panko- made without the bread crusts
- Tan Panko – made with the whole loaf bread, including the crust
The actual difference in the Panko bread crumbs from other types is in how they are processed. Panko Crumbs are flatter and have a larger surface area for increased crispness. They can be described as being flakey. While you can’t replicate Panko style crumbs exactly you can make a homemade version that is nearly as good.
Oh, and if you have to ask for them? It’s PAHN-koh, with the emphasis on the first syllable.
How to Make Panko Style Bread Crumbs
You will need one loaf artisan style French bread, sliced in inch thick slices. Remove the crusts and allow to get stale overnight.
- The next day cut the bread in one inch cubes. Process the cubes in a food processor until they become coarse crumbs. Don’t let them become too fine. You want a much larger crumb that you are used to making. It is easier if you do this in small batches.
- Bake at 300F for three to five minutes. Watch the bread crumbs carefully so they don’t brown. Stir gently but thoroughly and bake for another five minutes but do not allow them to brown. Cool completely and store airtight.
- Bake the sliced, stale bread in a 300F oven for twenty minutes but do not allow it to brown. You will turn it over after ten minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
- Grate the crispy bread on the coarse side of a grater. Place the resulting crumbs on a cookie sheet in one layer and bake again in the 300F oven. Bake five minutes, stir and then bake five more minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Using Panko Crumbs
You can substitute Panko crumbs cup for cup in your recipes. The texture will be lighter when used as an ingredient that is mixed in with the rest of the ingredients. It will be crispier when used as a breading, whether you fry or bake the breaded item.
Since these Japanese style crumbs have become popular, mainstream food manufacturers have begun to make them. You can get these crumbs in a variety of flavors, including Italian. The addition of spices in the manufacturing process rather than in the recipe making process is one of those things that is questionable at best. Because you can’t control how the manufacturer flavors the crumbs your recipe may not taste the way you want. It is much better to buy the traditional Panko crumbs and add your own flavorings to your recipes.
Recipes that Use Panko Crumbs