Smelt (whole or headed and gutted)
Baking dish or baking pan
Cooking spray or olive oil
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Grease a baking pan with cooking spray or olive oil. Add breadcrumbs to a shallow dish, enough to fully coat all of the smelts.
3. Season the breadcrumbs if you would like. Try a dash of cayenne pepper or dried herbs like parsley and oregano. In a separate dish, beat an egg with a fork.
4. Take a smelt and dip it into the beaten egg, then completely coat in breadcrumbs. Gently push the breadcrumbs into the smelt to encourage them to stick. Repeat until all of the smelts are coated.
5. Arrange the coated smelt on the greased baking pan.
6. Bake the smelts for approximately 20 minutes, or until the coating turns golden brown, flipping once so that both sides get crisp.
7. Remove the smelts from the oven and serve with a dipping sauce like tartar sauce, if desired.