All scraps of bread should be saved for crumbs, as directed on page 51, the crusts being separated from the white part, then dried, rolled, and sifted. The brown crumbs are good for the first coating, the white ones for the outside, as they give better color. Where a very delicate color is wanted, bread grated from a stale loaf or rubbed through a coarse sieve gives better results; the fresh crumbs need not be very fine. Cracker crumbs give a smooth surface and are better for oysters than bread crumbs, but for most things bread crumbs are preferable. For meats a little salt and pepper, and for sweet articles a little sugar, should be mixed with the crumbs. Crumbs left on the board should be dried, sifted, and kept to be used again.
The whole egg is generally used. The white alone will serve, but not the yolk alone, as it is the albumen which is needed. The albumen quickly coagulates when put into the hot fat, and forms a coating through which the grease will not penetrate. To one egg is added one tablespoonful of water, so as to make it thin enough to run and remove the stringiness of the egg; these are beaten lightly together, but should not be foamy, as bubbles break and leave holes for the grease to enter. Where delicate color is wanted, it is better to use the white of the egg only and fresh crumbs. Turn the crumbs on to a board; roll the articles first in the crumbs to dry them well, then place them in the beaten egg one at a time, and with a spoon pour the egg over and moisten them thoroughly; return them to the board, and completely cover them with crumbs. Soft, creamy mixtures like croquettes require delicate handling, and are easier to manage if first made into a ball, - molding them into shape being left until the second crumbing, at which time they can be rolled into cylindrical form and the ends flattened by dropping them lightly on the board. They will keep their shape better if, after being prepared, they are allowed to stand an hour or more before being fried. (See croquettes, page 293).