What do you do with the heel at the ends of the bread loaf? Honestly? Do you reach right past secretly hoping someone else will use it? Do you try to conceal it from your children by placing it out of sight on the bottom of the sandwich? Or do you simply toss it?
I don’t know about your household, but around The Schell Cafe no one will voluntarily eat the heel of the bread. Husband will on occasion, but only as an act of frugality not because the heel is his chosen choice of bread slices.
Rather than torture the Littles by making them eat the heels, I’ve started making homemade croutons. Which, as it turns out, is a double bonus as they started liking salads when I began garnishing their greens with homemade croutons.
You can get as fancy as you want making croutons. It’s a great way to use flavored olive oils or tasty combinations of herbs and spices. If I have just a tiny bit of chives or other herbs leftover, I toss ’em in. Once you’ve made your own croutons a few times you’ll start noticing all kinds of extras lying around the kitchen that will serve as great flavor boosters.
Heels of bread loaf or slightly stale slices (anything destined for the trash!)
herbs or seasonings to your liking
First, cube the heels of the bread loaves.
Next, toss the cubed bread with a splash of olive oil and desired herbs or seasonings. I just used coarse sea salt for this batch of croutons.
Spread the oil bathed croutons on a foil-lined baking sheet. I use my toaster oven. No sense heating up the kitchen for such a small task.
Bake at 200 for twenty or thirty minutes, until the bread is dried and crunchy! Store in a baggie or tupperware container for up to a week.
You can also put the croutons in a small food processor and pulse to make bread crumbs. I do this to make the Littles breaded chicken tenders…but I’ll save that for a Kids Cook posting soon.
*** Gluten Free Update: We now use the heels of our Udi’s bread for croutons and breadcrumbs! Freeze until you are ready to make.