How to make the perfect crumb coating
Breading and baking has a very long tradition in the Austrian cuisine. Meat was dipped early in flour and baked out in hot fat. Thus the piece remained juicy inside, which has always been appreciated. For the perfect crumb coating, first of all, do not pre-coat the breadcrumbs, but only finish them shortly before roasting.
The right meat
Only a veal Schnitzel may be called a Viennese Schnitzel. All others – whether made from pork, turkey or beef – are Viennese style schnitzels. The veal must be as lean and without tendons as possible.
Beat the veal, but gently
Do not use the jagged Schnitzel knocker. Its teeth shred the meat and damage the cell structure, so that the baked meat loses its juice when roasted and becomes dry. It is better to use a Schnitzel rapper with a smooth surface or simply a small pot for plating the meat covered with cling film. The perfect Wiener Schnitzel is about five millimetres thick.
Stations to enjoy
After the beating, for the perfect crumb coating the meat moves to the Panier-“Street”. Usually there are four stops: salt, flour, eggs, breadcrumbs. Sounds simple, but now the details matter:
Since the breading is completely unseasoned, do not save when salting the meat. A good pinch on each side is all it takes. Depending on your taste, pepper from the mill is also often used.
Flour & egg
Turn the meat in smooth flour and beat well. Then pull through the beaten eggs with your clean fingers or carefully with a fork. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork, do not mix vigorously, you should still be able to see some egg yolk. Some top chefs recommend adding a dash of milk, whipped cream or mineral water to the egg, which makes the breadcrumbs airier. A real Viennese, however, only has pure egg in his breadcrumbs.
For the perfect crumb coating, it is recommended to use homemade breadcrumbs or baker’s breadcrumbs. Many top chefs swear by the brown crust of the breadcrumbs in ground form. The reason for this is that the white parts of the rolls are soaked with fat, while the crispy brown parts can absorb considerably less fat, which is good for the meat. Since crumbs of this quality are not available for sale, you have to make them yourself. This is work, but it has a big part in good success.
Pumpkin seeds, popcorn, cornflakes and much more can also be used as breadcrumbs. Therefore mix them with some breadcrumbs as you like and you can immerse yourself in other worlds of taste. Be creative and find your perfect crumb coating!
After the meat has been pulled through the eggs, drain briefly and put into the crumbs. Do not press the crumbs down firmly, but simply push them all around over the meat. Turn once – just the weight of the meat is enough to keep the crumbs in place. Shake off the schnitzel carefully and place it on a piece of kitchen paper.
Butter lard – and off into the pan
A real Wiener Schnitzel is always baked in a pan, or as we say Pfandl. A deep fryer is simply frowned upon. It only gets its typical nutty taste from clarified butter, i.e. a good portion of it is heated in a pan. Use high-quality oil that can be heated to high temperatures, e.g. rapeseed oil, clarified butter, peanut oil, sunflower oil.
Swimming & sloshing
What is important when frying:
- The meat must float in the fat.
- The ideal temperature of the heated clarified butter is about 180°C / 356 °F – so the meat becomes crispy through and the breadcrumbs crispy, without burning. The oil must be hot enough – simple check: drop some breadcrumbs into the oil, foam it vigorously, the oil is hot enough.
- During frying, swivel the pan slightly and/or move the meat so that the breadcrumbs are sloshed with hot fat on the top. This is the only way the meat gets souffled breadcrumbs which wrap it in waves without sticking to the meat. Drain the golden-yellow baked goods on a paper towel and serve hot.
The baked Wiener Schnitzel is probably the flagship of Austrian cuisine – and is generally fried in the home kitchen. The following recipes will prove that the popular baking out in a lot of fat but not with a Schnitzel, chicken and a breading of flour, eggs and breadcrumbs ends. Try a batter with wine and beer or delicious baked vegetables, cheese or fish.