How to Bread (Probably Just About) Anything

The standard breading procedure is a three-step process that works on a variety of meats, cheese, and vegetables. Here, we walk through how to bread chicken, plus a few tips and the equipment needed.

By Haley J. Wilson


Photo: Getty Images

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We’re big fans of fried chicken tenders at our house. Not only do my husband and I love them, but they’re one of the things our daughter will actually eat. And whether you’re stuck at home and craving fried foods (because you’re carrying more stress than usual), you’re looking for a project to do with the kids (like I do with my daughter for dinner on Mondays), or you just want to learn a cool technique that’s super versatile, understanding standard breading procedure will unlock a whole new world of fried possibilities.

What is standard breading procedure?

It’s a process of dredging something (like chicken tenders) in flour, then dipping in egg, and finally coating in breadcrumbs.

Article-How-to-Bread-Anything-Inarticle1 Photo: Getty Images

What do you need to get started?

You’ll need all-purpose flour, eggs, breadcrumbs, and three dishes — I use pie plates at my house, but you can use small sheet pans, shallow bowls, or even custom breading trays. Place the flour, the beaten eggs, and the breadcrumbs (we like panko) all in separate dishes.

Article-How-to-Bread-Anything-Inarticle2 Photo: Getty Images

Breading Tip

When breading anything, always designate a wet hand and a dry hand. The dry hand is for the flour and crumbs, and the wet hand is for the eggs. Try not to get them mixed up or you’ll have successfully breaded your hands.

Why does standard breading procedure work?

The flour coats the chicken (or whatever you’re breading), absorbing any excess moisture on its surface. Next, the hydrated starches in the flour help the egg adhere. The egg is like the glue that holds everything together. Not only does it help the crumbs adhere to the chicken, but once the egg proteins cook and solidify, the crumb coating is secured to the food.

What can I bread?

You can bread probably just about anything, minus anything that’s overly wet. Also, keep in mind the size of the items you plan to fry. So that the breading doesn’t burn before the food inside gets cooked, be sure the food is not too big. Items like whole chicken breasts should be cut into strips or pounded into cutlets before breading.

  • Chicken, beef, pork, fish, shrimp, other seafood
  • Mozzarella sticks, cheese curds, or other cut up cheese
  • Vegetable strips or slices, like zucchini, avocado
  • Broccoli and cauliflower, mushrooms, green beans, and asparagus

Can I bread with something other than breadcrumbs?

Yes, you can use crushed up cereal, pretzels, or chips. You can mix nuts and/or cheese in with any of these as well, though watch them closely as they’re more likely to burn.

If you’re like me, that crispy, crunchy coating on fried foods is utterly addicting. And now that you’ve got standard bread procedure down, there’s nothing to keep you from golden, fried goodness!

Equipment/Special Ingredients Needed

Want to give this technique a try?

Check out our recommendations for the necessary equipment and ingredients to make this recipe. All products featured on Cuisine at Home are independently selected by our editors; we may earn an affiliate commission from qualifying purchases through our links.