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Real Store-bought French Bread

I don't know how long HEB has been carrying this stuff, but I want them to continue doing so. It's real French bread, made in France. Only 6 ingredients - no added fortification or other chemicals.

"Menessiz" French Bread. Sturdy "modified atmosphere packaging" makes it good for 3 months (expiration date on my packages are sometime in March). They are NOT frozen (but they can be). I just got a package each of their par-baked demi-baguettes and their regular baguettes for $1.50 each. This is GREAT bread. I announce it here in the hopes that HEB continues to make it available.

Picture of the package so you know what to look for:
http://yfrog.com/f7frenchbreadj

I'm going back to the store now to buy at least 6 more packages while they're still there and on sale (2 packages for $3). And then to Costco for a bag of those addicting meatballs to make crispy, cheesy, gooey meatball subs.

-sw (who has no affiliation to any manufacturer, importer, or retailer, yada, yada...)

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  1. I bought those recently to sop up some shrimp ettoufee and was delightfully surprised at the good crust it produced. I will get some more while they're on sale!

    1. My interest is definitely piqued. Which section of the store is it in? Also, which HEB did you find it at?

      2 Replies
      1. re: agoodbite

        I got it at the HEB on Brodie in the bread aisle.

        1. re: agoodbite

          Packaged/sliced bread/tortilla isle at the Slaughter/Manchaca store. But I shop a bunch of HEB's across town from Parmer to Slaughter and will survey other stores as well.

        2. they do not have that at my local HEB (parmer and mcneil) but i'm going to keep looking.
          their selection has whittled down recently so who knows.

          14 Replies
          1. re: dinaofdoom

            Dina, they have them at the Super HEB at the corner of Anderson Mill and 620. I bought a package yesterday and they had more, both baguettes and rolls. They are actually hard to see. They are on the regular bread aisle, not in the bakery area. The packaging makes them blend in too much among the more brightly colored commercial breads, and the fact that the package lays flat made me almost miss them.

            1. re: stephanieh

              oh, i never go to that one (even though it's not that much farther).
              i will definitely check it out! thanks.

              1. re: stephanieh

                They still had a few rolls and three packs of baguettes when I went tonight. Picked up a pack of baguettes.

                Followed the directions to the letter and wound up with slightly underbaked bread. It was still delicious. Now I need to go buy an oven thermometer to make sure the oven is calibrated right.

                1. re: verily

                  Your oven is probably not off. I put the bread in for 12-14 minutes at 410 convection bake and it comes out fine. Even still the bread is sometimes pale, but has the right texture and more importantly, taste.

                  -sw

                  1. re: sqwertz

                    FYI - the directions say "490" degrees F, correct? Most ovens only go to 450 F. My Chambers will do 550, but I hate to heat it just for bread. I've been using the toaster oven, full blast bake, slathered in garlic butter. For the last few minutes, I put the toaster on broil. The top gets nicely brown. Actually, if you use enough butter, it runs down and browns the bottom nicely, too. I get that nice outside crunch with piping hot, soft, steamy inside bread.

                    1. re: rudeboy

                      i think this post may qualify as food porn...

                      1. re: rudeboy

                        Looking back at my first picture I posted of the baguettes, it clearly says 390F on the packages I bought.

                         
                        1. re: sqwertz

                          I guess posting pictures here is kinda useless since it shrinks them down too small to really appreciate the food (Hello Chowhound? How can we post food porn in such a small space?)

                          Anyway. See the first post in this thread, then click on the picture itself to enlarge it to it's intended size. Then the text is very legible.

                          1. re: sqwertz

                            that's because 390F is the translation for 200C (which is what the package I have in my pantry says).

                            If you do it at 375F, you 'll be fine -- it will just take a few minutes longer. (if I'm baking them, I frequently put them in alongside dinner...so they're rarely baked at the recommended temperature, but they always come out fine.)

                            They're not great baguettes, but they're pretty respectable -- most folks keep a package or two on hand for nights when you just don't feel like going to the boulangerie (or it's late, or chucking down rain, or everybody's got the flu...)

                            They are a huge private-label manufacturer here, as well.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Yeah, I noticed that I screwed that up (I looked at the package again yesterday). I even did a conversion on 490 F to see what temp that was in C!

                              My baguettes have been kind of toasty.....

                  2. re: dinaofdoom

                    yeah, parmer and mcneil is definitely a no-go.
                    i scoured again tonight.

                    1. re: dinaofdoom

                      Parmer/McNeil has the rolls and baguettes. Got some two weeks ago and saw them again this past weekend. They're right by the tortillas. Oh and the bread is indeed delicious--thanks for the rec from the original poster!

                      1. re: snowymt

                        strange. i looked on thursday, and again tonight.
                        they must have put them out for the weekend and then sold out.

                        1. re: dinaofdoom

                          I saw them at both McNeil and Techridge tonight,.

                          These things suffer from hard merchandising - They are easy to miss.

                          And they're pretty much gone. Last batch seems to be 03/30, but the scraps on the shelves say 03/10. There are plenty of 6-PK rolls left on most shelves, but not the half-baguettes.

                          -sw

                  3. I am a big fan also. HEB at Slaughter and Manchaca hasn't been carrying them lately, but did find them at Slaughter and Escarpment. Instructions say to dampen the bread with water before baking. Delightful!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: RoxieB

                      I left about 16 packages of them on the shelf for you tonight at Slaughter and Manchaca. Yesterday it was practically the ONLY bread they had on the shelves at 3:00pm - which is probably why I discovered them.

                      I bought 4 more packages today. They have a different expiration date on them today (3/30/11) so they must get them in pretty often. This is what the full packages look like so everyone knows what they look like on the shelves (that always helps, IMO):

                      http://yfrog.com/49frenchbreaddisplayj

                      -sw

                      1. re: sqwertz

                        Yup!! They were really back. Got 4 packs of the rolls today, March 10th expiration. Sure hope HEB doesn't give up on them.

                        1. re: sqwertz

                          I just clicked on that link and was taken to some "Wheezer" site. But then when I closed that window and clicked it again it worked as intended. I'm sorry if anybody else got that. The link is/was genuine. In the future I'll post the direct imageshack link.

                          Or maybe I'll try this "attach photo" link here at the bottom of the window.... Duh.

                          -sw

                           
                          1. re: sqwertz

                            Yfrog and other URL shorteners have been doing that lately. Not your fault.

                      2. You are my new hero - I am on my way. Par baked bread is such a genius invention, especially when 'hounds say it tastes good!

                        1. The Hancock HEB does have them but quantities are limited. There were some rolls too but I just bought the baguettes. Can't wait to try!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: parisgirl

                            Anyone see this product in Bee Caves (hwy 71 & bee caves) or Westlake??? I hope so!!

                            1. re: Lotus7

                              Not in Westlake (on Bee Caves road) : (

                          2. Both the large loafs and rolls are at the Circle C HEB. They were so good out of the oven with lots of garlic butter.

                            1. No dice at the Far West HEB, which I find surprising given the customer base for this store. I figure it's the limited square footage.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: agoodbite

                                They have both at Burnet/Koenig HEB. Which I find surprising considering the customer base for this store ;-)

                                Seriously, if you live in this area (Brentwood/Crestview/Allandale/Shoalmont), please go buy them so they'll continue to carry them.

                                They're on the regular bread aisle, sort of tucked away, I passed them twice before seeing them. I'd figured they'd be in the bakery area on a table or something.

                                3 packs of two baguettes...expiration, March 30.

                                1. re: rudeboy

                                  I often shop at the Burnet/Koenig HEB. I have seen the packages before but did not buy. Will have to try them now .

                                2. re: agoodbite

                                  I bought a package at Far West on Thursday. They were pushed back a little from the edge and difficult to see but I left three more packages on the shelf.

                                3. I just bought a few packs at HEB far west. There were still a couple left on the shelf - a lower one.

                                  Happened to be at the 1431 and Parmer HEB last night and checked, but they didn't have any.

                                  I'm looking forward to giving this bread a try. Thanks for the tip!

                                  1. We tried these yesterday... 620 and Anderson Mill (Volente shopping center HEB - 2 packs for $3.00). We liked them so I emailed HEB ("contact us" from their website) and asked that they continue to sell them and do a better job promoting them. I did receive a reply that they loved me, would consider my request, etc. I think that a few more requests might help "seal the deal". It's worth a good effort so give it a shot if you are so inclined.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Rene

                                      I'll toss in some feedback, since I've noticed this store has been undergoing a major purging in regards to what they sell. Gone are a lot of the interesting International Foods. However, they've added some cajun items in the meat dept. (probably in response to Stuffed being down the road) and some knockoff girl scout cookies.

                                      1. re: verily

                                        Oh and I probably start a new thread, but those "knockoff" girl scout cookies are actually made by the same company that runs ABC Bakers (one of Girl Scout's licensed bakers), so they're technically "generic" girl scout cookies. The brand is called Baker's Recipe, but "Double Decadence" shows up in larger letters. Feel kinda guilty about taking away dollars that could go to the Girl Scouts but I haven't seen a booth in a while.

                                    2. VICTORY IS MINE!

                                      because i was feeling those friday endorphins, i got a co-worker and myself a package of the minis and the baguettes.

                                      here is where they are stashed at parmer/mcneil

                                       
                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: dinaofdoom

                                        dina - thanks. I forwarded this to my friend - that's his HEB. I've been trying to convince him to buy this bread...he says that HEB makes fine enough bread for him. He's also balking about the "carbon footprint" of shipping bread across the Atlantic. He drives an XTerra that burns a lot of oil, though. We went to Stuffed Cajun today for lunch, and I had to roll down the window to dilute the carbon monoxide.

                                        I cc'ed his wife, who has a little more practical sensibility, not being hung up on sham and esoterc philosophical meanderings.

                                        So hopefully, someone else will buy this bread at Parmer/McNeil.

                                        1. re: rudeboy

                                          they are hard to find, next to the budget hill country fare wheat loaf.

                                          i'm not exactly a locavore, but i do try to buy things i consider reasonable.
                                          given the shelf life of these babies, and how huge HEB is, these are probably shipped in enormous pallets so i don't think the carbon footprint would be that horrible.

                                          also? it's really hard to find good bread.
                                          a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

                                          did you get any crawfish or dry aged ribeye at stuffed?
                                          i posted the newsletter information in some other threads.

                                          i want to see if i can get some of noble pig's duck proscuitto to make sandwiches with this baguette!
                                          otherwise i will revert to some other deli meat plan B.

                                          as a post script, HEB's unsliced "pan frances" from the bakery is a great for some things.
                                          i use it to make a pesto/roasted tomato/boursin/proscuitto loaf for potlucks.

                                      2. Argh. Keep sending your feedback to HEB because the Anderson Mill HEB Plus grocery manager responded to mine and stated that they were planning to pull the product in early April. However, they are looking at making a proposal in the next few days to keep stocking it. Apparently, this product is only sporadically offered (presumably by the distributor).

                                        1. All good things must come to an end. My usual store hasn't re-stocked since I first posted this. And the two packages of demi-baguettes left on the shelves expired almost 3 weeks ago. The shelf space for the regular baguettes has been reallocated to something useless.

                                          I emailed HEB twice last week about those and another issue and have yet to hear back on either issue. I don't think I've got an answer from HEB on anything. i don't know what they do there in "Customer Service Headquarters" in San Antonio, but it's not their job.

                                          -sw

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: sqwertz

                                            They are missing from Slaughter/Manchaca HEB. I looked again yesterday.

                                            1. re: RoxieB

                                              Yep. that was the store I was referring to. Both the Oltorf and 1st street stores don't have them either.

                                              -sw

                                            2. re: sqwertz

                                              These are officially listed as discontinued at the West Lake Hills HEB.

                                            3. I noticed that HEB has come out with with their own branded product line similar to these. They have ciabatta rolls, whole wheat banquettes, and dinner rolls. I didn't take that close a look at them to see if they were co-branded or modified atmosphere but I might pick up some ciabatta rolls tonight..

                                              -sw

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: sqwertz

                                                Yay - I was never able get my hands on the other ones. Which HEB? Were they in the bread aisle, or in the bakery section?

                                                1. re: sqwertz

                                                  I bought the ciabatta rolls last night and while they're good, they are not top-quality. You can get bigger, fresh baked ciabatta rolls at many HEB's and Central Market for the same price. These rolls were not true ciabatta and are no match for the French bread which started this thread. These don't even come in a regular french baguette form except as wheat.

                                                  I wonder if Randall's carries the other ones. I would even step in a Randall's for those. It's been 6 years since I've shopped in a Randall's.

                                                  -sw

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                                                  Central Market
                                                  4477 S Lamar Blvd Ste 100, Austin, TX 78745