I've always understood "bound breading" to refer to a three-step process, performed with chicken or other meats that have been portioned and patted dry:
- Dredge through (seasoned) flour and shake off the excess;
- Coat with beaten egg, slightly thinned (with water, milk, etc.);
- Coat with an even layer of desired breading (crumbs, more seasoned flour, etc).
Recently, I came across this web page which describes bound breading as a two-step process, excluding the first step of dredging in flour. It occurred to me that, although I've always done bound breading this way, it seems like the thin layer of flour between the meat and the egg mixture would actually work against the breading sticking firmly to the meat. And yet, this is the way a bound breading is done in all the recipes and cookbooks I've encountered previously.
What is the purpose of that first light coating of flour, structurally speaking? Obviously if you use seasoned flour, you're adding seasoning; but does it really make the breading stick any better through the cooking process?