My mom just got back from a trip to San Francisco. I asked her to get me some sourdough bread yeast to make a bread starter, but she couldn’t find any (since she doesn’t know the city at all) so instead she brought me back a loaf of bread from Boudin, a well known San Francisco bakery established in 1849, as it says on the bottom of the bag.
I have to admit that at first it was kind of disappointing because LOOK AT IT. It looks kind of horrible. It doesn’t have those nice big and irregular French style holes aka, hand crafted crumb (the inside structure of bread is called “the crumb”). Nor did it have the hit-you-in-the-face French sourdough taste that I adore. I love French bread. Not that bullshit that’s labelled “French bread” at the grocery store. I’m talking about delicious crusty bread with a high moisture content on the inside that makes it chewy and delicious. You know, bread that makes a sound when you break it and releases a pungent sourdough aroma. I recently found that kind of bread at my local Whole Foods. They get bread delivered from Iggy’s, which is a bakery outside of Boston in Cambridge. It’s amazing bread. (Note: to preserve bread, don’t put it in the fridge because it dries out. Put it in the freezer. It defrosts really quickly when you need it and tastes really fresh). Despite my trashing it because it’s not FRENCH bread, the Boudin loaf was still delicious. And I can see why it’s so popular. It is a blend of French with American style–a soft crust and more “sturdy” crumb (i.e. uniform holes) that’s made with lower moisture content that resembles more of a commercial style bread, not an artisan bread. Essentially it’s got artisan taste, quality and look, but a commercial texture. Whatever, I didn’t stop me from slowly consuming the entire boule over the course of 3 days. Sliced thin, toasted and a little Kate’s Homemade Butter. I love carbs.