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, different types of 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 sourdough 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.
WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER BUY SLICED BREAD
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 crust of a loaf of bread is meant to protect the inside from drying out too quickly. When a loaf is sliced, it creates heaps of exposed surface area, making it vulnerable to drying & hardening quicker than we like.
One of the easiest hacks to keep bread fresh for longer is to leave the entire loaf intact and slice off pieces as you go.
The slicing process paved the way for larger bread manufacturers and today, rows of sliced bread shrouded in plastic bags are commonplace at most grocery stores. 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.
THE BEST WAY TO STORE FRESH BREAD
Forget the fridge and store bread on the countertop at room temperature with a little TLC from Abeego. Wrap your homemade bread, artisan bread, half loaves or even your baguette—Abeego keeps the crust crusty and the inside soft. Follow these best practices to keep your whole loaf of bread fresh in Abeego:
- Crusty loaf? Wrap it loose.
- Soft loaf? Wrap it tight.
- All loaves—slice as consumed.
You can even keep your bread in the paper bag it came in, and wrap Abeego around that for extra protection and to keep your beeswax wrap crumb-free.
Have a favorite bread box? Put your Abeego-wrapped loaf inside!
Keep your bread out of direct sources of heat and the sun. Go for Abeego’s Giant beeswax food wrap and savor all sizes of loaves.
When it comes to bread storage, avoid leaving the loaf unprotected or sealed in an airtight container at all cost. Unprotected bread will harden faster than you can say panzanella and plastic wrap will suffocate the loaf, ruining its crispy outside giving it a too-chewy and spongy dough.
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 it, 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 stale 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. Oftentimes, popping a less-than-fresh slice in the toaster and lathering it with some butter and jam does the trick just fine!
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.
SHOP ABEEGO & KEEP BREAD ALIVE
It is with deep respect and gratitude that we create, build and operate our business in the communities of Southern Vancouver Island, which as a business we acknowledge is located within the ancestral and unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən (Lekwungen) (Esquimalt and Songhees), Malahat, Pacheedaht, Scia'new, T’Sou-ke and W̱SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) peoples.