Over the past couple of years, I have learned quite a bit about gluten and dairy free cooking and baking. Some gluten free or dairy free ingredients are challenging to use. One of these is gluten free bread crumbs.
As anyone with a gluten intolerance knows, gluten-free cousins of gluten laden foods do not act the same. We know that this applies to flour, but you might not be aware that gluten-free bread crumbs can be really challenging to use.
This became apparent recently when a good friend of ours offered to make us his famous crab cakes. I really appreciated the offer of his going out of his way to accommodate my various food issues. I told him rather than his trying to find gluten free bread crumbs that I would bring my own.
The problem became obvious when he tried to fry the crab cakes. They fell apart into crab casserole. We then realized that he had to bake the remaining cakes. They turned out fine, and they were delicious!
This incident has prompted me to share my tips for using them in gluten free recipes.
- If you are making crab, salmon or tuna cakes, make sure to bake, not fry the cakes, as they will fall apart in the oil (as mentioned above). Chilling the cakes before baking will help them stick together
- If you are using as a topping for a casserole, mix your gluten-free breadcrumbs with a bit of oil or melted dairy free margarine (if dairy free) until the mixture resembles wet sand. Sprinkle over your casserole and bake as usual.
- Gluten free bread crumbs used as a topping will not brown and crisp like regular bread crumbs, but will burn quickly. Check at minimum baking time and watch carefully
- When using for breading meat or chicken, lightly fry both sides in hot oil until browned, then bake as usual in the oven. The bread crumbs will not crisp up in the oven
- When mixing into meatloaf, you may have to adjust your liquids to get the right consistency as they do not absorb liquids like regular breadcrumbs
I hope that these tips will help you to use gluten-free breadcrumbs. If you have used them and have had success or failure, or have tips, please share!