This afternoon I was given a sample of home made bread by a co-worker, to test. The best thing about starting this blog is the free food samples I am asked to write about.
Bread, that most useful of food products, it can be toasted, fried, dipped in batter, dip or fondue. It can be combined with other foods and stuffed into the orifice of birds, or baked with other more expensive ingredients to stretch that meal out. It can be, wrapped around other foods, used as a plate for sauce cheese and various other items, baked and shared in slices.or stacked with almost any non liquid eatable item in between its bookend like slices.
It is the ultimate eatable utensil and comes in as many varieties as there are uses. White, brown, rye, black, marble,sourdough,3-5-10-12 grain, flax, the list is endless. It can come in loaves, flats, volcanoes, braids, or those odd crispy things only the British eat. Again, an endless supply of shapes, tastes, textures and tensile strengths to chose from.
It can be moist and sweet like a sourdough bannock, or dry and crumbly like a Scone. Bland as wonder bread, or as flavorful as a Bavarian seed loaf. I have never had Russian black bread ( though I do want to try it) that is said to have fed an empire. Nor hard tack that sailors ate on distant voyages, but I have enjoyed most breads I have tried, and feel qualified to test this freshly made slice using a strictly scientific method.
At first glance, this slice looks ordinary, then you notice the slight discoloration and shades that let you know it is not some mass produced bleach product specially designed to outlive its welcome on a store shelf. A closer inspection reveals its cratered surface and the light airy appearance that is so important. It definitely has appeal in its rustic appearance, but further testing shows, it does nothing to improve my appearance, so we are going with a 7/10 on basic appeal, -1 for not gracing me with attractiveness, and acknowledging the fact that without the rest of the loaf along side, it’s like judging the miss America contest from only the knees down.
The first bite of bread with absolutely nothing to disguise its flavor is excellent, while a bit dry, it is certainly well within the acceptable range of not moist. Flavor is subtle, white bread like with a hint of something missing. I believe that missing component would be preservatives and extra sugar. A welcome lacking that makes the taste more natural. Easy to bite through without crushing the air pockets, while also being somewhat chewy in the mouth speaks to a perfect texture of not moist, but moist enough. 8/10
After adding butter to the slice, we try again. Same texture, same flavor, it is not diminished by the butter, and only slightly enriched by its covering. Sadly, it doesn’t enhance the butter any more then it did my face. 7/10
Heated to melt the butter. Well now this is nice, it picked up and blended with the butter nicely, both the bread and the butter show a marked improvement in flavor and synergy. 8/10
Any bread has to hold up under adverse conditions in my house, it has to pull its weight and more. No slice of bread that goes limp at the exposure to steam will grace my shelf, and it better be able to maintain its grip on a fork even when immersed in near boiling liquid, and not dissolve into a mess of goo.
Partially submerged in my coffee, the bread held its shape and strength, I was a little surprised at it’s absorption rate, as the coffee was sucked up deeply into the bread that remained out of the cup, so while it certainly managed to pass this test, anyone rude enough to double dip will likely be punished with losing their bread during the attempt. 8/10+1 for enforcing manners
Clearly a favorite with the dogs, both are begging on a 10/10 scale.
Nevertheless, still a 10/10 score with the dogs and a 2/10 from the finicky cat out of sheer curiosity and disdain for the dogs.
As a side dish
Any item can hold its appeal as the only competitor, but what about when it’s sidelined? Sidelined as if belittled, like a background dancer at a Justin Bieber concert?
I place the remaining piece of bread in exactly that situation and it manages to pull through. Tough as it is to compete with my wife’s cooking, it chooses to endear itself to the lead and complement it outrageously, winning my admiration for its gumption in the face of such potentially harsh criticism. 8/10 for being complementary to a meal it really doesn’t belong with.
As an eraser.
Total failure. This last bit of crust completely fails at the task of erasing ink. No matter how much elbow grease I put into the effort, this bread just can’t handle the job. I’ve seen a piece of wonder bread clear the ink off a page in under a minute, and with a little more effort, erase the page itself from existence. But this tasty treat has the intestinal fortitude of a wilted pansy when it comes to helping with homework. 1/10 as a household cleaner, and that 1 is only for effort.
Sara’s home made bread is a hit. Overall high scores, but unless she changes the recipe it will never be more then an excellent tasting piece of bread.