May 5 2012

Guilty Pleasures: all white!

Wholegrain, wholemeal, multi-seeded, organic and biodynamic: these days, our daily bread comes in any colour as long as it’s unbleached, unadulterated brown. But white bread is allowed, on occasion – even Nigel Slater says so (see his constant haranguing about the perfect bacon sarnie). So, at the top of the White Bread Barometer, there’s the upper crust loaf: Hobbs House Bakery’s ‘Wild White’, for example – a naturally leavened sourdough made with unbleached, untreated flour. In the middle, there’s the supermarket bakery’s ‘farmhouse’ loaf – not exactly artisan, but a pretty passable version of a good old fashioned, homemade crusty white. And way, way down in the foodie version of hell that is your local supermarket’s Skinflint range, there are the 19p sliced ‘loaves’: bleached by chemicals, risen by robots and wrapped in environmentally unfriendly polythene which ensures that the contents of the pack start sweating before you even put knife to Stork margarine. Dirty white bread: you know you love it.

It’s all that was left on the shelves!”, you wail, when your guilty pleasure is discovered. Quick – bury the empty box of Cheapo fish fingers (the fried up contents of which you crammed between those indolent, audaciously innutritious slices) in the recycling box! Hurry – scatter the telltale, insipid crumbs gathered around the toaster with a neat flick of your Kath Kidston tea towel! Or brazen it out and say you’re making an ironic, post-modern statement in response to recent sermons from Mount Food Media. Yeah, right – and the Stork delivered itself?


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