Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

Long ago folks baked loaves of bread at home or bought them whole from a bakery.  At some point, it became possible to buy the bread pre-sliced.  The Wikipedia article on Sliced Bread describes the history of bread slicing and how the expression "The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread" came about. Apparently sliced bread was a wonderful breakthrough.  Today only artisan bread is sold whole.

I bought my first loaf of unsliced bread just a few years ago.  I really liked it!

First of all, it was not at all difficult to slice the bread with a proper bread knife.  And I could make the slices any thickness I desired.  I usually made them as thin as possible.  For small dense 100% rye bread, that's less than 1/2 cm (about 1/8 inch).  I'd allow for nearly a full 1 cm for more porous, airy loaves.  Compared to sliced bread, my slices are 25% to 50% thinner.

Second, sliced bread gets stale more quickly.  A whole loaf has a crust to protect the inner portion.  Once it's sliced, that protection is gone.  I keep my bread wrapped tightly in an intact plastic bag and refrigerated, so the loaves I buy last a few weeks.  (I don't eat much bread.)

So every time I slice bread, I smile and say to myself, "Unsliced bread is the greatest thing since sliced bread."


Rummuser said...

Although I do buy sliced multigrain bread as a standby, for special occasions I buy unsliced bread of different types to suit the menu. Modern bread knives are very efficient and as you rightly point out, one can slice the bread to any thickness one chooses.

Square Peg Guy said...

Thank you again, Grand Sir, for reading and commenting!