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May 30, 2013 06:24 PM

Best local bread for sandwiches the day after tomorrow

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):

      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.

          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.