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How to buy bread

April 7, 2010

“You know that Pepperidge Farm bread, that stuff is fancy. That stuff is wrapped twice. You open it, and then it still ain’t open. That’s why I don’t buy it, I don’t need another step between me and toast.”

— Mitch Hedberg

This post is a call to change that I would like to get all of my friends to embrace. Once upon a time bread was baked from whole grains into loaves that were used the day they were baked, sliced or torn into thick pieces and eaten thusly. Now bread is baked in big factories where the best recipe is the one that keeps the bread from going stale or rotting while sitting on a supermarket shelf. In fact Wonder, the first bread ever to be sold pre sliced, was considered highly suspect when it was introduced in its pre-sliced form in 1930.  Now it is hard to find whole loaves of bread in the U.S. and many bakeries that do bake fresh have their own slicers so it can be sliced to order. Now I would like this sliced bread trend to be reversed. So here is my call to all friends and lovers of fine foods. Start buying whole loaves of locally baked fresh bread and slice it at home. I know this seems radical, but 80 years ago, pre-sliced bread was the peculiar choice. Here’s how you do it.

Find a local bakery or grocery store that sells fresh bread. If you live in a big city this should be no problem, smaller cities may have a harder time. Go there and buy a loaf. The first day you get it, have it with butter or jam, make a sandwich or serve it with your dinner. Don’t slice the whole loaf, only the pieces you are going to eat. You can slice it as thick or thin as you like! When the first day is over wrap the bread in a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator. This will keep the bread from becoming stale. Good bread will keep under refrigeration for several weeks. It’s True! Just pull it out of the fridge and slice a piece off when you need it and pop it in the toaster. If it’s not pre-sliced it has less surface area and will stay fresher longer. REALLY! Unless you have teenage boys in your house who eat sandwiches everyday there is no reason to have pre-sliced bread. So find a local bakery and try their different breads until you find one you really love and just keep buying it. It will make your bread experience better for life, guaranteed!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2010 12:53 am

    presliced bread makes for a weak sandwich. you need to have a good hearty bread, where you can cut a thicker or thinner slice depending on what you are putting in between the bread. You can also get a couple of different types of bread and they will keep longer.

    You can take poor ingredients and put it on a good bread, and the sandwich will be great. If you take a fantastic ingredient and put it on a soft, floppy, presliced “bread” then you just ruined your sandwich. you will have to toast it twice first, and then you lose the flavor. I completely agree that you should buy a whole loaf and use that!

    If it does get crusty, you can either feed it do the birds, make french toast, make croutons, or even a fried bread with a chocolate dipping sauce!

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