Monday, August 27, 2012

Bread. Is It Supposed To Do That?

I'm a bit of a food snob.  I'll admit it.  I blame some of it on the fact that I lived in Belgium when I was seven and eight.  There, we picked up fresh food each day because... that's how you do it.  The meat (aside from the horse that my mom accidentally bought early on in our sojourn there and couldn't figure out why it wasn't browning) was fantastic.  The bread?  Beyond so.  And oh the pastries....

Here?  Sigh.  It's really hard to find, and it's so expensive so often.

I look at the ingredients on the "fresh" bread loaves, and there are things I've never heard of before.  That's not the wonderful European bread I'm looking for.  The worst was last week when a friend dropped off a loaf of "European style, gourmet Italian" bread because she is going on a diet and bread doesn't figure into her eating plan.

We ate a few slices of it, but there was still some left over on Friday.  I went to pull out a slice to go with the goat cheese and smoked salmon omelet I had made for myself for lunch.  It was wonderfully still soft.  Orrrr maybe not to wonderfully.  Bread is supposed to go stale, but this was still pillow soft.  I squeezed it, mentally rolling my eyes.  Then I noticed the mold.  The bright green and pink mold.  The entire loaf was going bad but retained its not so natural dreamy soft texture.  Ew.

There are some wonderful traditional bakeries near me, and I patronize them from time to time.  And this is a good reason why I bake so much, I think.  At least I know what I put in my food, and it goes stale before freaky colored things start growing on it.  And that's assuming that mold even starts going on it at all.  There are some foods that just... keep hanging around.

Me?  That's not what I want to eat.  It's why I make most of my food from scratch at home.  It's why I avoid processed foods whenever possible.  And now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to make toast for breakfast with some of my homemade sourdough bread.  And maybe - just maybe - I'll stop by a true European bakery for something special a little later.

When I eat, I want to love what's going in my mouth and enjoy it.  How about you?  What's your food philosophy?  Or better yet, what are your horror stories?

Book cover of The Baker's Daughter

In the interest of full disclosure, this post was part of the From Left to Write book club where we write posts inspired by books we read rather than true reviews.  This month's book "The Baker's Daughter" by Sarah McCoy was sent to me, but I received no compensation.  The novel follows a reporter in 2007 interviewing about German Christmas traditions and flashes back to Elsie's time living in Nazi Germany where she worked for her family's bakery.  As always, all opinions remain my own.

8 comments: August 27, 2012 at 5:22 PM  

I do like to bake, but not bread. I just can't get into baking regular bread. I keep trying and then? Meh. It's a lot of work and they just EAT IT and EAT IT. Drives me nuts. :)

I do like the idea of food that goes stale before it gets moldy. WHAT A CONCEPT!

The Real Nani August 28, 2012 at 9:49 AM  

I'm sold on the no-knead method of baking bread. I love being able to have a fresh loaf on the table in under an hour! And I agree; the only way to ensure quality food is to make your own, and if you're lucky enough, to grow your own.

Tara R. August 28, 2012 at 1:02 PM  

I enjoy baking too, but seldom take the time to make fresh bread. I miss it.

Lisa Hanneman August 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM  

I try to get the processed stuff out of our diets where I can. Bread was a no brainer after I read an article about the amount of sodium that goes into mass produced bread. Yuck.

We stopped buying bread at the grocery store and make weekly visits to a local bakery. Once you make the change, the difference in taste is crazy. You just can't go back.

Thien-Kim aka Kim August 28, 2012 at 11:58 PM  

I love baking bread too! I just haven't had the time to do it recently. Do you have any tips or favorite recipes?

Sarah McCoy August 30, 2012 at 5:29 PM  

Wonderful! Such a delight to meet another foodie. Thank you so much for featuring THE BAKER'S DAUGHTER. I hope you give Elsie's recipes a try in the back of the book. If you do, you must let me know how you enjoy them!

Yours truly,

Amy September 1, 2012 at 1:36 PM  

I need to start branching out-wish I had tried some of that good European bread. We always get bread in San Francisco when we go (2 hours away)-have you had that sourdough bread? Would love to hear what you think! :-) I need to start looking for European bakeries from now on to try them out!
Great post!

Sandra September 1, 2012 at 10:55 PM  

I know it's not as pretty or rustic or natural-looking, but I like to make bread in my bread machine. It's so easy, we eat fresh bread, and I know exactly what goes in it. I got a recipe that makes the bread taste like the very fine textured ones in Asian bakeries. LOVE.

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