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White Bread

Was having lunch after golf and one of the women commented on the bread on her sandwich. I related my g-sons comment re the Honey Wheat Bread I served him (Oh, so that's why it tastes bad) because he prefers white bread only. Much to my surprise, most of the women didn't know there was anything else but white bread until they got older. My Mother had wheat bread and white bread. The white was for me and the wheat was for everyone else. What did you have growing up. One of the women related that her Mother served crescent rolls for special occasions (otherwise white bread) and she just loooooved them. So, please add what you had on holidays/special occasions. Linda

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  1. White, white, white - no one in the whole family knew there was anything else.

    And it's still good and useful - what else are you gonna use when you nuke a hotdog, other than a slice of white bread with a squirt of ketchup? (Buns? Oh, so we're getting all FANCY are we?)

    Had we been presented a lovely, still-warm loaf of Bittman's no-knead, or challah, or sourdough ("Sour? Eeeeewwww!") we would certainly have had no more idea why anyone would make or eat something like that than if a fisherman family friend had shared his catch of squid ("Thanks, Earl ... we'll ... uh ... really enjoy these, I guess.")

    1. My mom always bought Roman Meal and other of multi-grain breads as a kid...which leads me to say I can't stand either to this day. She did however bake white bread from scratch a couple of times a year and I definately remember that.

      1. We had the generic white bread, but also whole wheat and caraway seeded rye in the house. It wasn't unusual to find crusty Italian loves, and during the holiday Brioche was possible.

        My grandmother taught me how to make baguette and sourdough, and German pumpernickel when I was 12.

        1. I guess it was ethnicity-driven. While Wonder Bread was our white bread, we also had good rye bread, challah and pumpernickel form the Eastern European bakeries. Every day, Greco's next door would get a delivery of crusty, hot Italian bread.

          If we were going for gourmet white bread it would be Pepperidge Farms Daffodil Farms bread.

          Unlike my friend's moms, my mother wouldn't trim the crusts on sandwiches.

          I wonder if Wonder Bread was better in the old days before they added all the preservatives and HFCS.

          Who makes good sliced white bread these days?

          Wonder and all of those types of bread just taste like nothing these days ... even the buttertop breads I liked not so many years ago.

          I picked up some Orowheat white and was about to buy it until I read the ingrediant list which had a bunch of preservatives and HFCS.

          Right now my favorite sliced white isn't from a supermarket but from a chain called House of Bread. They use natural ingrediants and it is baked fresh daily.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rworange

            "Who makes good sliced white bread these days?"


            I really like the white bread that Asian (or Japanese) bakeries make.

          2. We always had Wonder, occasionally Sunbeam (I think that's a Cali thing) but my grandmother who lived with us, always had Roman Meal. When I got to be around 9 or so, I would only eat wheat bread (still like it best.) Also around that time, mom started trying to get us to eat seven grain bread, or worse, sprouted wheat bread. Stupid health food craze. She never did convince my dad to buy it, so if he shopped it was Wonder. For special occasions, like Thanksgiving, "Brown 'n' Serve rolls." It's one of those things I just have to have on Thanksgiving, even though they're not that good.

            1. I grew up on Wonder Bread. And yes, crescent rolls and Hungry Jack biscuits were for special occasions. Crescent rolls and canned biscuits still have sentimental value for me and I enjoy them once in a while. Can't say the same for Wonder Bread.

              1. At my folks over Christmas I ran across an old "Physiology & Hygiene" textbook from 1900. It actually said that white bread is better for you than wholegrain. Interesting how things change.

                2 Replies
                1. re: revsharkie

                  Wow, that's amazing--was it explained WHY the white bread was thought better?

                  1. re: BangorDin

                    Not really. It seemed to relate to a general belief that things that were processed further from their natural state were more easily digested and, therefore, more healthful. (Vegetables were always to be thoroughly cooked, never eaten raw, for the same reason.)

                    It was interesting to read, actually. It was believed that hot foods were better than cold, and that beef was the best meat to eat; fish was considered far inferior.

                2. My poor deprived daughter thought she was abused because we never had white bread nor Miracle Whip in the house when she was growing up, only various multi-grain, whole grain, rye, pumpernickel, marble rye, sourdough, and artisan bread, and real mayonaisse (usually Hellman's). When she was a teenager, a good friend of hers gave her a loaf of Wonder bread and jar of Miracle Whip one year for her birthday and daughter was in heaven.

                  Now, as an adult, daughter usually has white bread in the house because her husband grew up on white bread and he tends to prefer it but often enough she'll by rye or grainy breads and her hubby doesn't mind. She now likes both real mayo and Miracle Whip and can mostly use whatever she has on hand. When I visit her in Idaho, she and I tend to have at least one pig out on ciabatta, sourdough or some other yummy bread.

                  I kind of went nuts with different kinds of bread when I was an adult. As a child ('50s and '60 in Iowa, Illinois, and eastern Kansas/KC metro area), we had white bread in the house but occasionally Mom would buy rye bread if she was making Reuben sandwiches. My beloved Grandfather had been a classically trained Viennese pastry baker who was stuck making mostly white bread in small town northeastern Iowa.

                  Through high school, I always asked if I could have a slice of my best friend's Grandma's Roman Meal when I spent the night at their house. I loved it toasted with strawberry jam on top.

                  It wasn't until I was in my late teens and living in Ann Arbor in the mid-'60s that i got a chance to really try a diversity of breads, and after that, I don't think I ever bought plain white bread again.

                  I ate my first bagel in 1968 in Ann Arbor because I was dating someone from NYC who went to the Blue Front every Sunday morning for the NY Times, bagels, cream cheese and lox. I loved 'em.

                  My taste in different breads expanded when I moved to the Hartford area in 1970. There were some terrific bakeries and I tried sourdough there. It was just okay but I really got turned on to sourdough with my first trip to San Francisco in 1975. I brought home big shopping bags of Parissiene sourdough I bought at the airport. For years after that, every time I went to SF, I'd bring home huge shopping bags filled with the stuff.

                  Right now, living here in Kansas City, I'd say the breads I use the most are Farm-to-Market Ciabatta (sometimes the Asiago Ciabatta), some commercial ryes and multigrain or whole grain breads, and any of the incredible artisan breads made by Fred Stampinato at his fabulous little bakery Fervere at 17th and Summit. Fred's ciabatta, Orchard Bread, Olive-Rosemary Bread, and Grain Travel Bread are divine!


                  I also like the baguettes and challah at Napoleon Bakery on Westport Road, east of Southwest Trafficway.

                  On my infrequent trips to Lawrence, Kansas, I'm not happy unless I stop at Wheatfields and get some kalamata bread, wheat or whatever appeals to me that day.


                  1. I grew up in an Asian household eating traditional Korean food 99% of the time, so we didn't have much use for bread in general. I had my first PB&J sandwich when I was 18, during my first week of college!

                    1. Growing up in Iowa, it was white bread all the way. When I moved to Miami in the 60's I discovered Wolfie's restaurant with their pumpernickel, rye and bagels. Then onto the various local delis.

                      Today in Costco, I noticed something called Smart Bread that looks like white bread but is whole grain. The solution for guilty white bread lovers?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: mickie44

                        It's probably made with white whole wheat. It's a different grain than the red wheat normally used. I use it in baking when I don't want the heavier graininess of whole wheat. A lot of companies now make white whole wheat bread.

                        1. re: chowser

                          I like the white whole wheat flour, and bread made out of the same is definitely more nutritious.

                      2. Trader Joe's sourdough. And, we'd start in the middle of the loaf (biggest slices) and work our way toward the ends. We never had white bread in the house.

                        1. Wonder Bread and Pepperidge Farm thin sliced bread for "special" sandwiches, or at my grandparents' house - they were dieting and liked the fact that it wasn't as many calories. Crescent rolls were definitely special occasion. I don't think whole wheat anything was even available in our supermarkets until I was in high school, probably.

                          1. I have never really eaten much white bread, my mother always made homemade bread, whole wheat, dark dark brown with molasses in it... thick and chewy and filling. YUM.

                            My grandma always made buns and they were whole wheat too come to think of it.
                            White Bread was a special treat once in a blue moon

                            And now that i'm grown up i either buy whole grain or make a whole wheat loaf

                            1. I secretly love white bread (balogna sandwiches on white with mustard, mayo and lettuce), but enjoy whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel, potato bread, and sourdough as well.

                              But I agree with James Beard's view of those heavy breads that resemble bathroom tile in texture and flavor. My in laws ate those tiles all the time when I first met them, and they got used to hearing me say "Sticks and stones for breakfast again?"

                              1. We had all kinds of bread in our house when I was a kid--white bread for my sandwiches (I wouldn't eat whole wheat for a long time), whole wheat for my dad's sandwiches, corn rye, italian stick bread, pumpernickel, whatever was available. However, at my grandmother's house it was ALL WHITE BREAD ALL THE TIME for the first 10 years of my life, mainly because none of the grandchildren would eat sandwiches made from anything but (and the crusts had to be cut off before we'd touch them). I remember being dismayed that we were having pasta at my grandparents' house when I was about 6 or so and the accompanying bread was a stack of Wonderbread slices with margarine. Fortunately, they did see the light at some point.

                                1. We had every variety of bread growing up, sourdough was my favorite bread then. As an adult I enjoy most kinds of bread, I would say rye is my #1 fav, and I usually don't prefer plain jane white bread (like wonderbread).