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Best local bread for sandwiches the day after tomorrow

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I was thinking Acme, but open. The deal:

I really like salume + crusty bread sandwiches. My default is a baguette like Acme rustic. Main problem is that they go hard overnight and I've never had much luck with the various methods of reviving them. I'm looking for a bread or roll with texture that holds up for 24-48 hours without special attention. Do they exist?

Clearly, soft dinner rolls, commercial potato breads and King's Hawaiian do, but they're too soft.

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  1. The quicker you can get them into the freezer the better they will be when you want to use them. If I am having a party on a Sunday and I know that I can only get fresh rolls on Saturday, I buy them, bring them home, slice them, then rebag and freeze them. Then an hour or so before serving I let them thaw on racks or very briefly in a barely warm oven. This way you keep that good crust and tender inside. Actually I keep all of our breads in the freezer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: junescook

      That is absolutely correct, and I thought everybody knew to freeze the bread. I freeze my loaves whole, in their paper bags enclosed in plastic (a shopping bag or garbage bag will do, it's only for a couple days) and slace when I'm ready. It only takes a few minutes to thaw, and it is perfect and fresh. Putting bread in the refrigerator is a very bad idea.

    2. Ummm...I buy Acme rustic baguettes every week and am able to keep them fresh by covering the exposed end with a second paper bag and then sealing it in two plastics bands held tight with 1-2 rubber bands. After just a bit of gentle toasting, the bread comes out pretty soft (or as toasty as you like).

      Toasting literally reverses the staling process at 140 degrees F (see Harold McGee's on Food and Cooking): http://www.examiner.com/article/why-d...

      1. Most of my favorite breads are good the next day or day after.

        Rustic baguettes (Thorough's purple baguette or Craftsman and Wolves' regular baguette) are better than white.

        Be sure they were baked same day when you buy them; many outlets are selling you yesterday's baguette.

        For sandwich bread, my favorite is probably Josey Baker's seed feast followed by his Wonder bread (available at The Mill on Divis). C&W has a pretty decent slightly sour levain. And Tartine's walnut bread is based on their country French loaf but holds up better. They'll sell you half a loaf.

        I don't freeze or toast. I do keep cut side down on wood, and don't mind a little crunch. And if there's any left, I slice it thin and use as crackers or for French toast.

        Good luck. The other thing worth experimenting with is a bread box. I have a plastic one I got at IKEA but even an inverted bowl might work.

        1. My fav is the rustica baguette from La Farine, which is open 7 day a week. I usually go to the Fruitvale location, which is a baking location -- easy off I-580, easy parking in the CVS / Farmer Joe's lot. -- even though the Piedmont Ave. shop is closer to me.

          http://www.lafarine.com/contact-us/

          1. All the best breads will last several days. If it's going stale quickly, try buying it somewhere else.

            I keep my bread in the fridge overnight sometimes, and that helps it keep.

            I'd suggest visiting Bi-Rite's bread section where everything's pretty fresh and looking for Firebrand's sour Baguette with it's char similar to a good wood burning pizza crust, Acme's Sour Batard, or any of the Josey Baker breads (also available from his shop, The Mill), or visit a Boudin for their 6" sandwich rolls, or Tartine for their country bread with a spongey crumb that lasts, or finally Outerlands for their bread. I also like Wedemeyer sour baguettes for sandwiches, available at Parkside.

            1. Thanks for your replies.

              Clearly, freshness is part of the issue for my regular baguettes. Acme and La Farine have been my mainstays, but the former I usually get from Berkeley Bowl or Whole Foods at the end of the day. However, I recently picked up baguettes from the Berkeley Cedar/San Pablo bakery and they were noticeably hard the next afternoon and rock hard the next morning. I have similar experiences with La Farine which I pick up on College or Piedmont.

              To clarify: what crusty breads will still be at least somewhat pliable at 48 hours without special treatment? Or are those qualities somewhat inconsitent with long shelf life? I don't actually by that much bread and have not explored that widely beyond baguette, so I don't actually know or understand the variation. I was thinking some kind of italian style with oil in the dough might be better, but I'm not sure what that would be. Ciabatta?

              2 Replies
              1. re: twocents

                I agree that ciabatta might be a better choice than a plain baguette, since the oil will help keep it from drying out. Any bread that's just flour, water and yeast is going to be rock in a couple of days.

                For the same reason, olive bread holds up for several days and makes delicious sandwiches!

                1. re: Ruth Lafler

                  Josey Baker at The Mill also bakes an olive bread. All of his breads are wonderful and stay fresh for days - Windy's selections of the Wonder Bread or seeded loaf are good choices, too.

              2. Acme levain holds up very well in a tightly closed paper bag. I cut the dried-out edges off and toast slices, lasts for four or five days.

                If you want to eat a baguette two or three days after buying it, put it in a zipper plastic bag in the refrigerator, then heat it up in a toaster oven.

                Any baguette just stored in paper will be stale the next day (but good toasted or revived with tricks such as McGee's) and rock-hard the day after that (good only for cooking).

                1. In my experience, Josey Baker loaves hold up better than Acme or La Farine. I keep them in paper the first night and then paper within plastic. Maintaining first-day crust is just about hopeless, and baguettes don't last. Toasting does wonders, though.

                  1. I've had some good luck with Acme ciabatta rolls. One trick is to run a day-old roll under the faucet, just a quick rinse, then heat it up. The water will revive the texture.

                    1. If you like Acme baguettes for sandwiches, try the batard, which is a fatter, squatter formed loaf. There is a better crumb to crust ratio so I find it lasts longer than the baton shaped baguette.

                      1. I like the Della Fattoria Pullman loaves.

                        Also, the breads at Bar Tartine have held up really well for me, though I don't know what is in their current rotation.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: absc

                          Second the recommendation for Della Fattoria's Pullmans. They last a week easily without needing to reheat. They make a compagna, semolina, polenta, and a few others.

                          1. re: absc

                            What are Bar Tartine's sandwich shop loaves like? I've had their rye etc. only toasted in dishes at dinnertime.

                            Tartine Bakery really makes only one loaf. The variations are the same dough as used in the plain "country" loaf with olive, sesame, or walnuts added. That bread does hold up very well for a few days, though it's a huge loaf and kind of a pain to buy.

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              They were doing a porridge bread for a while that was very flavorful and stayed moist for days.
                              A trusted friend on twitter recently raved about their Koji Polenta Loaf, but I have not tried it.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                "a huge loaf and kind of a pain to buy."
                                Un grande pain.
                                http://painrisien.com/wp-content/uplo...

                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                  Only downside to Tartine's country bread for sandwiches, is that it can be difficult to cut evenly.

                              2. Whatever they sell at the JLS farmer's market is really good. Their levain is solid, as is the rye which I only just tried recently. Holds up ridiculously long--like over a week if you keep it in a paper bag in a plastic bag in the fridge.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: hungree

                                  who sells it?

                                  1. re: wally

                                    Feel Good Bakery has a stand. They're open daily in the Alameda Marketplace.