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Doing more with: bread heels

How do you eat that supermarket loaf of bread? Do you take one for the team and use that first heel, or do you let it sit there on top as every other slice gets used, until there’s nothing but two heels touching each other in a used-up bread bag?

Some days, I’m game for a PB&J with two heels, but sometimes I just can’t do it. That doesn’t mean the remnants should get tossed in the trash, though. Here are some uses for your forlorn heels:

  • Keep your brown sugar soft. This is the most common way I use my heels. Always keep one in whatever container you use to store your brown sugar to keep it from getting rock-hard and getting between you and some spur-of-the-moment chocolate-chip cookies. If your sugar’s already a rock, stick it in a bag or airtight container with a bread heel (or any slice of bread that isn’t stale) and it will eventually re-hydrate. Be sure to switch out that piece of bread when it gets hard, though.
  • Collect, then make bread pudding. Store your bread heels in the freezer, along with odd hot-dog buns (Like Steve Martin said, the big-shots at the bun company and the big-shots at the wiener company are definitely conspiring.) and any other bread remnants. When you get a good collection, thaw them out and soak them in a custard like one of these, then bake the whole dish for a decadent treat.
  • Bread crumbs. Undesirable bread heels, meet food processor. Keep these in the freezer.
  • Slather with butter, sprinkle with parmesan cheese/herbs/sea salt/whatever seasoning you prefer and toast in a low oven until brown and crispy. You won’t recognize them and  your kids might even eat them.

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