It isn’t unusual to find more than one kind of bread in our house at any given time. The common sliced loaf bread is a staple but, often, you’ll find any one or more of these breads in the kitchen: focaccia, danish/croissants, pan de sal and French bread. If tortilla can be classified as a bread, we sometimes have tortillas too. Not because I’m a compulsive bread baker — I wish I were. I’ve read and heard so many testimonials about how kneading dough is both a relaxing and comforting experience. The few times I kneaded bread dough by hand, I quite liked it. But whatever satisfying feeling there had been was often overcome by panic and worry at the mess I always manage to create when handling flour.
The reason for the variety of bread in the house is personal preferences. Everyone in my family has his favorite.
My younger daughter, Alex, is addicted to focaccia (above). For me, nothing tastes or smells better than a hot croissant or danish (below). In fact, anything made from puff pastry and whoever invented puff pastry has my eternal gratitude. My husband and older daughter, Sam, are pan de sal lovers. French bread is something we buy on occasion — often, when focaccia is not available.
It’s not that there’s some kind of exclusivity. I mean, if there’s focaccia in the house, everyone enjoys it just as much as Alex. Same with danish and pan de sal. But when we go to the supermarket as a family and lots of varieties of bread are available, we often end up with a package each. Wasteful, you say? No. We consume bread fast. What we often have leftovers of is the loaf bread. But that’s easily solved by toasting them, making croutons or bread crumbs. With the rest, well, there are ways of making them last for several days.
If, like us, you don’t rely on the neighborhood bakery for your everyday supply of bread — the pan de sal in the bakery in our subdivision are not that good — and you prefer to buy a few days’ supply each time for convenience, it’s nice if the bread can be served warm, moist and still soft even after a day or two, right?
Yeah, well, you can freeze them. But you’ll have to wrap them tightly or place them in air tight containers to make sure that they don’t get wet and they don’t absorb any smell or taste of the raw fish or meat that are in the same freezer with them. Even if they are in different freezer corners, if the wrapping is loose, they will still catch the fishy/meaty smell after a while. And even if you have a box of baking soda (our tried and tested freezer and fridge deodorizer).
And when you need the bread, take them out of the freezer to thaw, heat in the oven and serve warm. It works for us.