In which we discuss bread

August 5, 2009

There are so many things that I have to tell you about bread.

First – with my obsessive watching of Supersizers and their time travel eating I have learned that the bread that you eat has been linked to the life you lead for ages… literally.

In Medieval times the wealthy ate over bread that was then thrown to the peasants… and that was all the peasants got to eat.  During the Regency (and those lovely corn laws) the rich would give bread to the needy (there were a LOT of needy people) and during the late 1700 in France the Aristocracy thought they would actually get sick if they ate brown bread.  They could only have the fluffiest of white breads.  During the Reign of Terror the only bread allowed was pain d’egalite… made with a mix of white and wheat flour.  In England during the Second World War there was a particular kind of bread called National Loaf that was more wheat than white and had extra vitamins added to it.  (Rationing and National Loaf were not just in response to the lack of imports but it was a way to make sure that England would not become undernourished like they were after World War I.)

Seriously – I am LOVING all this new information.  Carbs ROCK!

Second – I read an article in one of the local papers about the Bread Garden, a 36 year old bakery across from the Claremont hotel and next to Rick and Ann’s Restaurant.  I had never actually been in.  If I’m going to pick up bread I’ll hit La Farine or one of the markets that carry fresh bread from Acme and other local bakeries.  According to the article, when Bread Garden opened there were 3 bakeries in a 2 mile radius.  Now that’s up to 9 with a 10th on the way.  (New bakery?  I’m excited.)  So now that his lease is coming up the owner is saying he will most likely move (preferably to a coastal city that doesn’t have a bakery) unless business booms.

Wow… interesting business model.  Make threats to get better business.

It worked for me.  If they were going to move I wanted to at least try it once before they close… whenever that may be.  So I stopped in last week.

My favorite thing they offer is HALF loaves.  That’s cool.  I got half a loaf of french white and half a loaf of wheat.  $2.50 each.  Nice.  The bread wasn’t bad.  It also wasn’t the best I’ve ever had.  It lasted for a good long time which made me wonder about the ingredients because my fresh baked bread goes stale quicker than the Bread Garden stuff did.  Good for longevity but I do wonder about additives.

All in all… it was nice bread.  It wasn’t necessarily worth the trek over to Domingo (which has almost no parking so you do need to trek over) which might be where the issue is.  It’s not easy to stop at the Bread Garden.  And the shop is kind of dark and if you don’t know about it, I don’t know that you would feel like venturing in… but that’s not my business.  I just felt like commenting on the article and the business strategy.

Third… instead of going back to the Bread Garden, I baked a loaf of bread today.  Because it’s cheaper – although I need to go get more yeast soon and that’s expensive.


In fact, today I made a loaf of buttery white bread; 2 – 8inch deep dish pizzas with caramelized onions, roasted garlic, fresh mozzarella, and bacon; meatballs; and with the leftover pizza dough… a nice bread rolls stuffed with meatball meat.  YUM!



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