The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Huge quantity of heels - what to do??

Hoyden's picture

Huge quantity of heels - what to do??

So I've been baking a lot of bread and nobody in my house really cares for the heels.  I feel bad throwing them away, so I've been freezing them.  My bread is usually 30% WW and 10% semolina, so they're pretty 'crusty'.  

I guess I had a vague idea of making a Tuscan bread and garlic soup, but all the recipes call for cubes of ciabatta - not heels.  Does anyone make this with heels?

I have two giant tubs of progresso bread crumbs from costco so I don't want to make bread crumbs . . .

Any other clever uses for heels?

xaipete's picture

I found a recipe here. Look in the notes for one grandmother's use of heels.


Hoyden's picture

The extensive comments about that soup are very helpful

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Since the whole family can spot and refuse to eat a heel from across the table, I doubt they will eat any part of a "heel" if they recognize it in any size or form offered to them again.

I would be tempted to just take them to animal shelter and stop calling them heels and pick a more scrumptious name to use from now on.   I would also start baking crustless bread; baking the bread at low oven temperatures to avoid browning the crust since it is not desired.


ejm's picture

Mini, you might be onto something with the name change. Our family always fought over who got the heel. But we didn't call it the heel, we call it "the bun".


sphealey's picture

The King Arthur Flour _Whole Grain Cookbook_ has a recipe for an incredible bread pudding that works very well with flavorful whole-grain bread leftovers.


dstroy's picture

bread pudding was exactly what I was going to recommend too!! :)


Also, what about stuffing? Would heels work?

ejm's picture

I would have no hesitation using the heels for making bread soup. Or stuffing for chicken (our recipe for stove-top stuffing - just substitute any bread for the cornbread). And think of the fabulous croutons you could make for salad! (Just cut the bread into cubes, drizzle it with olive oil and maybe some herbs and stick it in the toaster oven for a short time.)


maggiem's picture

I too use my heels for bread pudding, also croutons and great stuffing.

abracapocus's picture

i used to make this recipe for fontina and tomato pie way back when i still ate eggs & cheese. i don't see why you couldn't use the heels for the crust. it's really easy and makes an impressive brunch dish.

deblacksmith's picture

When I was a kid we never liked the heels either -- and we always gave them to my grandmother who lived with us.  She got these and the chicken "backs" too, said she liked them.  Mostly I think she hated waste.

She lived to be 101.

I like the heel of most breads -- mostly for toast. My wife doesn't.  What I don't eat gets saved for stuffing.  Makes great stuffing with home made bread.


Hoyden's picture

Great ideas, everyone.  :-)


Hopefully I'll be baking bread and eating heels until I'm 101.

nbicomputers's picture

leave them out exposed to air dry bread will not go moldy. when it gets hard as a rock grind them in a blender or food processor. you will never buy bread crumbs again.  season them for chicken cutlets or meat loaf  or leave them plain.

since it will not mold stuffing is another idea also if you dry them and make crumbs you can use them in place of corn meal on your peel as well

take dry crumbs mix in some sugar and cinnamon get them moist with melted butter and use it as a filling for sweet buns or a topping on spice muffins i could go on and on...

pjaj's picture

OK so you personally don't need bread crumbs, but you can convert heels directly to bread crumbs by grating them whilst still frozen. I use the grater plate in my food processor. If you try to use the knives or a blender I find that the resultant product is a mixture of sizes ranging from powder to large lumps. Then back in the freezer till I need them.

Hoyden's picture

If I grate some of them and freeze the crumbs that would free up quite a bit of space in the freezer.

I should just take the tubs of Costco crumbs to the food bank and be done with it.

I've been making more ciabatta lately - no leftovers there!

Danni-loves-2-cook's picture

Why don't you break them up for the birds. They don't care what you call them and they will give you lots of enjoyment watching them while your baking and waiting on rise. 

Hoyden's picture

I'd love to give the heels to the birds, but my neighbor's cat then lays in wait for the birds and well, nature takes its course and then I've got a well-fed bird carcass on my hands.  

That sweet bun filling idea is quite inspired . . .