In our “new” suburb, to which we moved a year ago, there are no independent bakeries close by, so we have to buy bread from the supermarket or one of those bakery franchises, which are pretty much the same, actually.
It’s disappointing to see row upon row of spongy white bread on the supermarket shelves: there must be 30 brands. Even their bakery section has mostly plain white bread in various guises.
It’s a far cry from the aromatic, heavy, crunchy-crusted loaves we used to buy at any of several small independent bakeries within walking distance of our house in our old suburb. For convenience, we also used to buy bread in the supermarket there, but again, there was less of your limp white pre-sliced type and more of your grained, dense brown styles.
Lately, I’ve noticed something funny about the bread, whether it be from the supermarket or the bakery chain: it won’t toast.
That’s right. Brands that previously came up hot and golden in our new toaster, with its wily ways and plethora of buttons, now refuse to toast. The slice simply becomes drier and drier, and the crust eventually burns, but the middle never toasts.
We have found this to be so with white bread, sourdough bread, brown bread and muffins of various brands, for a couple of months now.
***Conspiracy theory***: Could the bread all be made at some big central bread depot, then just put in separate packets and called different names? And could the bread formerly known as good for toasting, be being made with different (i.e. cheaper) ingredients that stop it behaving like real bread?
I think the only answer is to buy a bread-making machine and make our own.