There’s something about eating a fresh loaf of bread still warm from the oven—sweet steam releasing when you cut into it, butter easing itself into soft yeasty air pockets, the first crumbly crunch, both crisp and tender. This deeply satisfying experience is at once so delicious and then something deeper stirs within like a delicate thread gently anchoring you into an ancient memory.
Bread is at the foundation of community. An invention developed from the cultivation of wheat, bread allowed cultures to settle and societies to develop the world over, from China’s mantou to Columbia’s arepa. In Egypt, bread called eish merahrah (or aysh) is so important that an ancient proverb declares, “Life without aysh is not life.”
Today, we still sit down and “break bread” with family and friends as we have done for thousands of years. Whether we bake the bread ourselves or enjoy the experience of choosing from dozens of different loaves at a bakery, there’s nothing like having a beautiful loaf of bread sitting on the counter, kept fresh in Abeego, and ready to be sliced and shared.
Is sliced bread really the best thing since...well, sliced bread? The first bread-slicing machine was invented in 1928 by Otto Rohwedder of Davenport, Iowa, as a way for bakeries to offer customers the convenience and uniformity of pre-sliced bread. The process paved the way for larger bread manufacturers and today rows of sliced bread shrouded in plastic are commonplace. To extend the life of store-shelf bread and keep it soft, many preservatives are added as well.
There’s no competition in a taste-test between homemade and manufactured bread. Along with being sumptuously delicious, homemade bread is made with simple ingredients (flour, salt, yeast, water) and you’ll save dough (flour goes a long way). Grain is helping to bring bread back into the hands of the people with farm-direct, fresh milled-to-order flour delivered to your door. Their no-knead bread recipe is perfect for anyone new to bread baking or short on time.
KEEP YOUR FRESH BREAD FRESH
Whether you purchase it fresh from the bakery or make your own, store your bread on the counter and give it a little TLC with Abeego. Wrap your homemade loaf, artisan loaf, half loaves or even your baguette. Abeego keeps the crust crusty and the inside soft. Follow these best practices to keep your bread fresh in Abeego:
- Crusty loaf. Wrap it loose.
- Soft loaf. Wrap it tight.
- All loaves. Slice as consumed.
Keep your bread out of direct sources of heat and the sun. Go for Abeego’s giant beeswax food wrap for bread loaves.
ANYWAY YOU SLICE IT | HOW TO CUT BREAD
Hand-sliced bread offers so much character and the freedom to customize thickness. Thick or thin, it's completely up to you! If you’d prefer a bit of guidance, these beautiful handmade bow knives provide an elegant solution.
When shopping for a good bread knife to last you all your days, look for one with wide serrations (not plain-edged) that slice through any thickness and won’t tear your bread such as this gorgeous Shun Japanese knife sold by Quincaillerie Dante in Montreal.
Here are a few simple tips on how to slice a loaf of bread:
- Wait for the bread to cool.
- Don’t press or squash it.
- For hardier, crusty bread or very fluffy brioche-type loaves, turn the loaf on its side (less cutting distance)
However you choose to slice your bread, remember to move it off the Abeego and onto a cutting board. A sharp knife will damage your Abeego.
CRUMBS | THE UPPERCRUST OF LEFTOVER BREAD
There are many simple and delicious recipes that repurpose less-than-fresh bread. Leftover crusts are not compost, they’re croutons. Crushed croutons are breadcrumbs. Your own grandmother probably has a host of recipes like bread and butter pudding, French toast and Brown Betty that requires your day-old bread.
Having a close relationship with the land and cultivating each ingredient by hand, our ancestors inherently understood the value of food—and never wasted a single crumb. The next time you enjoy a fresh slice of crusty loaf, take a moment to connect and let us know what memories stir in you.