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Have you ever decided to make a recipe, only to discover that you don’t have any breadcrumbs on hand—or not enough bread available with which to make some? I have, more than once. Especially when the recipe calls for fresh breadcrumbs. But now I almost always have extra bread for breadcrumbs, and I usually have some dried bread available too.

Growing up, my mom loved the heels of the bread best. My brother and I were glad to let her have them. Even now I don’t much care for the ends of the bread, but I also don’t want to waste them. If I let them sit around until I have enough to fill a cookie sheet to dry for breadcrumbs, they’ll get moldy. And I hate heating up the oven for only 2 or 4 slices—and heels and regular slices take different lengths of time to dry anyway. So whenever I finish a loaf of bread, I put the heels in a bag in the freezer.

It only takes a couple of minutes to thaw out the slice or two I will need to make my soufflé (which uses fresh breadcrumbs). And when the bag starts to get full, or when I get low on dry bread, I will fill a cookie sheet and put them in the oven at 250, checking them every 30-40 minutes (less as they get closer to being done). Once dry, I can blend them in the blender for breadcrumbs and store them in a jar, or I can put them in a corner of the breadbox in a ziplock storage bag for use however whenever. If my son could eat wheat, I would let him gnaw on them for teething. Though I would probably use the middle of the bread for that, not the ends.

So if you don’t care for the ends of the bread, don’t throw them away. Save them for a rainy day!

Works for me!

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