Bread expert challenged to tell the difference between cheap and expensive loaves


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/22/bread-expert-challenged-to-tel.html


#2

Cheap white bread is fairly easy to identify, because it is so squishy and ideal for making bait pellets to fish with. Brands with more gluten are more substantial, and with those an artisanal loaf is harder to distinguish from the grocery store house brand. It comes down more to how attentive the baker is; most store loaves are shipped premade and baked in house, so there is little skill involved outside of monitoring the bake.


#3

I really love these epicurious videos. The hosts are generally pretty charming and well informed (not the most diverse bunch, but otherwise inoffensive). The chalk board art is amazing. The content is actually potentially useful. the pickle episode made me want to try making pickles


#4

I wonder if he ever got any calls to comment on the UK’s relationship with the EU as a “brexpert.”

I do appreciate that he didn’t immediately go on a misguided diatribe about how mass-produced bread is fake bread and that one one should eat it. He just explains that it’s cheap to make and has its place in the world of bread.

I have James Beard’s book on bread, written a while back now. I always recommend that people getting into baking their own start there because he doesn’t quite spoon feed you, and now with the Internet and various international markets and health food stores, it’s a lot easier to get some of the ingredients than it might have been a while back, depending on where you lived.


#5

“Randy… (takes swig)… I am the liquor.”

  • Jim Lahey

#6

What I love about these epicrious videos is that I feel like an expert as well.
I can tell which one’s the cheapest just looking at what most resembles the food I eat.

What I hate about this epicourious videos is that I get to see a lot of people talking while they chew.


#7

I made the best pickles ever this summer and they were incredibly easy. It was a simple salt brine lacto-ferment and they came out beautifully with about 10 minutes effort. I don’t think this is the exact recipe I used, but close enough. Basically a salt brine, eyeballed spices, let the ferment start for 24-ish hours at room temp, refrigerate and leave alone for 1-2 weeks. I would change my spicing (not that I remember exactly what I did), but otherwise it was crazy easy for astoundingly good results.


#8

$3.6 one french baguette?! Damn… Nowadays, in France, one costs ~$1 (less than €1).

Cool channel btw.


#9

Bread expert challenged to tell the difference between cheap and expensive loaves

Interesting, but I can’t say it was much of a challenge, though. It was pretty obvious, even to me, which were the mass-produced (and therefore cheaper) loaves.
I thought it was kind of weird that he was less certain with the focaccia, given one was unambiguously mass produced, cheap and nasty, and the other wasn’t. (Maybe he was thinking the cheaper bread might be of similar price just because it was heavier?)


#10

This guy definitely knows his bread.

The one place where I leave him in the dust is in knowing how to pronounce sieve. That’s where I really shine.


#11

I think we find that with most of the epicurious videos. The price test seems to be just a lead-in to get an expert talking enthusiastically about what makes for good food.


#12

Pickling 18th-century style:


#13

I watched these videos a couple of days ago, and got all excited when I saw that the bread expert was Jim Lahey. I was like “Hey! That’s the guy who came up with the no knead bread that I just started making!” In fact, it may have been the Breadtopia videos on the Cooks Illustrated variation of Lahey’s bread that lead YouTube to showing me this. Linky linky world.


#14

I agree. I enjoyed the ice cream and the bed sheet videos.
I now know about good ice cream and good bedsheets by listening to good looking people eat and use nice stuff.


#15

There are some things which in my opinion require the cheapest mass-produced white bread you can find.

Summer pudding, for instance.


#16

Agreed that the comparisons were obvious. It was interesting to hear his explanations, though. I’ve been baking my own bread for thirty years, and my sourdough is getting almost reliable now. I’ll leave the pickle video for my wife - she likes pickles and I don’t, much.


#17

The extra $2.60 is the cost to ship from France to here. American baguettes are cheaper.


#18

In our only local supermarket they ship “artisan” loaves prebaked and frozen, and put it in paper bags. They have a bakery where they bake white and whole wheat in various shapes.


#19

Made me look. Like this? Or this?
Do you sieve flour or sift it?


#20

Exactly. It’s [sɪv] (rhymes with “shiv”), not [siv] (rhymes with “heave”). I guess I would sift flour, but it doesn’t sound weird to me to sieve it.