The solution: Flour first, and keep your pan nice and hot. Breading works best as a three-step process: Dredge in flour, dip in liquid (usually egg or buttermilk), and coat with breadcrumbs. Flour helps the liquid cling, which in turn holds the breading in place. Shake off excess at every stage to keep coating uniform. Heat oil over medium-high heat (a drop of water should sizzle when it hits the pan), and cook a few minutes without touching; hands-off cooking helps form a crust that adheres. Turn the food gently with a spatula; tongs will pinch and tear the breading. Cook until done.