Author: cwforrester

Mestemacher Westfälischer Pumpernickel

Appearance: pleasant. In terms of shape, we’re talking a classic rectangular shape, very thin slices, nice corners.
Taste: not as bitter as most pumpernickels. Also pleasant. If we are to believe the label, this bread has won awards for taste.

Packaging: The packaging is a bit sweaty–one must be careful when removing a piece so as not to break it because it does break very easily. The pieces are pressed very closely together and I’ve even used a knife to slide between them to ensure a clean removal.

Toastability: I would say this bread does not taste that different toasted as compared to plain. Maybe it is an untoastable bread? More research required on toast-resistant qualities.
Texture/Density: Chewy and dense but again, not a great surface/platform, as the consumer must be very careful while eating that crumbles/breaks do not occur. I understand that this bread was cooked at some point but for some reason it gives the impression that it was not, if that makes sense? Like how could it have been?
Other positives: Vegan.
Marketing: Ok I have questions. Mainly, am I missing something?? Really do not understand this image and how it relates to this bread. Is this a reference to Nordrhein-Westfalen that I do not understand? Is NRW known for being particularly white, straight and fond of partners who are fond of pumpernickel? 

“Brot-Delikatesse mit feinem süßlichen Geschmack, der durch die lange, schonende Backzeit von bis zu 20 Stunden entsteht.” I can’t be the only one now reading this “long, gentle baking time” as somewhat sensual… 

OVERALL RATING: 7/10, without marketing would be an 8.5/10, but I’m sorry I just can’t endorse this image and I really want to live in a world where I can pick up a loaf of bread and don’t have to worry about that bread also being unnecessarily sexualized. I guess sex really does ruin everything.

Disappointment Awaits: Vital & Fit Mehrkornbrötchen from Edeka

Edeka’s house brand, “Gut & Günstig”, does a bag of “Brötchen zum fertigbacken”


I think I thought I liked this bread at first because I was really seduced by the concept/price. 8 pieces for a euro! That is a great deal. And at the beginning you do feel  more like an active participant in the bread process because you have to heat it up/cook it and everything! But I’ve quickly soured on the idea: while appropriate for larger brunches or meals, this bag of bread is actually incredibly impractical for one person, as I’m not going to heat an individual piece of bread in the oven for 8 to 10 mins (and that’s after you allow the oven to preheat).

Packaging: Pleasant at first but more sinister the longer you look at it. The palette chosen is that classic purple  and light green color combo and the (presumable fit and healthy but really HOW would we know) woman jogging on the front has actually disproportionately long legs if you think about it. Unattainable beauty standards everywhere you look these days.

Taste: This is a very soft brown bread with seeds interspersed. Not sure it tastes like anything but in a pleasant-ish way? At first I was pretty pleased bc i felt the little seeds were nice little signifiers of the promised “fiber”. But then I started to worry that maybe it was just white bread that they dumped food coloring into? Because if you start to look the color is a consistent honey brown that’s a bit too consistent? Like they could easily have just dyed it…so will keep you posted on anything we discover on that front.
Pairing recommendation: To be honest, I think you need something stronger to go with this bread; it doesn’t have enough of a flavor of its own so a simple topping like just hummus or avocado leaves something to be desired. Also because of the classic brötchen shape (very thick/rounded), you can’t be as in charge of the ratio of topping to bread as much as you might like: some bites are inevitably going to be more bread-heavy than others, and you’re just going to have to deal with that. Makes this bread really conducive, again, to the brunch environment where you can just keep adding more toppings, rather than a sandwich environment where you can’t.
Overall review: A fantastic price, but not the best bread for eating alone. 4.9/10

Finnisch Toasties

I would like to start this blog post with a word about my toaster, RIP. Said toaster inexplicably began flipping the power switch when used. I tried every outlet in the kitchen to the same result: not when plugged in, mind you, only at the moment when the toasting lever was pushed down. I even unplugged various other devices (fridges, etc) and plugged the toaster into their sockets, but the switch still flipped. Confusing! So the toaster is no more, and in its absence my toast and toasted-bread consumption has dropped considerably, hence the delay between my previous posts and this one. I’ve now been toasting in the oven, which is, unfortunately, inefficient and unsustainable. Will keep u posted on all further developments.

eaten with: butter, cheese, avocado, beans, eggs, u name it

price: 99 cents…can’t decide if this is a good deal or not, as each package contains only 4 top +bottom pairs, i.e. 8 slices.

purchased at: Edeka, but have in the past seen similar versions at Netto and Aldi…worth exploring

packaging: Love that it gives you a “TIPP” on the packaging about how best to enjoy this bread: toasted and warm! But we already knew that. Otherwise, I don’t really understand the packaging? Divided into two sections and is very plastic-intensive.

health factor: probably fine? Hearty/fibrous, is brown

Texture: fantastic! Incredible range of toasting possibilities, from slightly warm to crisped edges, all the way to that jaw-wearying crunch we all know and love. I think texture is the main advantage of this bread; it is on the whole smooth, not nutty or grainy, but never goes too soft, always remains chewy and tough.

Physical qualities: thin but not too thin, rounded shape, porous, mostly flat but slightly concave.

Taste: It doesn’t taste like nothing, but then again I couldn’t really say that it tastes like anything.

Discussion of qualities: This is probably my favorite bread thus far, as it is incredibly versatile. It has an excellent design, in that the rounded concave shape tends to hold everything on top of it very easily. Well-suited for toasts, pizza-toasts, sandwiches, you name it. After so many positive toast experiences with this bread, I was afraid to try it just warmed, with butter, but even that was very delicious! As mentioned, there is no sharp taste that would make this bread incompatible with a certain food group. Definitely a comfort-bread more than an avant-garde bread. Easy to get along with.

Overall rating: 7.9 / 10

Bread Event / Event Bread: “Krustenbrot”

(Pictured above, from top to bottom: Bread on Rack, 2017. L holds Bread for Viewing Purposes, 2017. Meal Spread with Bread in Foreground, 2017. All those mentioned/interviewed have been made anonymous for privacy reasons)

We had our first bread-event! 5 volunteers ate this bread with their meal and offered criticism. Our host, R, was kind enough to make a chili as well as some fantastic guac. P, also host, contributed some nice cheddar (available at Lidl this week!). I took their thoughts into account while writing my evaluation. At the next event, each volunteer will complete a written survey: email me if you want to be included!!

Name: Great name, very accurate, direct and straightforward, really gets the message across. Couldn’t ask for a better name really.

Eaten with: Chili (vegetarian), later also olive oil + salt

Price: 1.19 but a very large loaf! Great for events where can be eaten all at once, because I’m not sure how long it would last in the fridge/kitchen.

Packaging: none! Taken right off the rack in Lidl.

Appearance: Everyone agreed that this bread looks really, really good. Light brown, dusted with flour. Natural-seeming ridges on top, Smooth feel inside. No real holes in the bread (I’m told bread with lots of holes in it is a sign of high-quality???). Looks almost exactly like the “Roggenbrot” on the shelf below in a suspicious way.

Taste: Sour, a bit doughy? Rather plain? Perhaps missing something? Salt? Didn’t really feel like the bread could assert itself over the chili or even the olive oil.

Other attributes: This bread comes unsliced, meaning you can slice yourself and really get the feel you want. Great for sharing because each person can cut their slice according to their needs. Pretty thick as a bread, good for sopping up sauce but, again, felt was overpowered by the chili’s spice. Really would recommend eating this bread warm or partially toasted, as the flavor definitely came out more with the heat. It toasts evenly and the crust gets extra crusty when toasted. You can eat a lot of this bread.

Overall rating: 5/10

A word about preferences

In the spirit of full disclosure, I think it is appropriate to give a brief word about my personal bread preference; I do this not to say that my bread reviews have no universal value or cannot be universally appreciated, but only to remind you all, dear readers, that we each do come with a set of accumulated attitudes and predilections from our time on earth thus far, attitudes that determine what breads we may find desirable. Of course, sometimes attitudes should be overcome and sometimes they should be respected, and the task before all of us is figuring out which bread-beliefs fall into which category.

  1. I was raised in a family that was definitely a whole-grain, whole-wheat family, so my choices tend to skew in that direction. I can still enjoy a good white bread, but it has to be really convincing.
  2. Sometimes white bread hurts my teeth or gives me that weird tingly/pain feeling in the side of my jaw/cheek.
  3. I very much enjoy bread with nuts. Exception: Hazelnuts, I despise them.
  4. Not a fan of breads of middle thickness.

Harry Malz-Mehrkornbrot

price: 99 cents @ Kaufland

eaten with: Avocado, melted cheese, plain cheese

the good: light, goes well with salt???!! Think would also go well with eggs.

the bad: have to split in half to toast, very aggressive brown sirup colorIMG_20171118_151432735

qualities: Wider, oval-esque design. Warm brown color with hints of reddish brown. Nice small seeds on top. The crust doesn’t feel like it matches the rest of the bread. If the slices were a tiny bit thicker I think it would be better; right now they’re an in-between size, not thin like a more Northern/Finnish toast but not thick like your Rustikal varieties. Seems like the bread really doesn’t know what it wants to be.

Really just the plainest of plain. No standout characteristics. Average taste, average size, average thickness. Doesn’t taste like anything. Don’t see what the point would be with this bread.

reservations: I don’t like it when breads toast this way- with two harder layers on the outside but still some smush on the inside. Poor bread design.

packaging/ presentation: A plastic bag with a cheery baker on the front. Presumably the baker is the titular “Harry”. IMG_20171118_151412094 IMG_20171118_151405737

good for: I can easily see my dad eating this bread in a sandwich every day for years without ever asking himself whether he actually liked it.

I just think if you’re going to eat bread, eat bread with character. This bread offers nothing. My rating is 2.75 / 10.

Grafschafter Sonnenblumenvollkornbrot

Price: 69 cents!

eaten with: avocado, later cheese, then with avocado again, then cheese again- several samples before the review

good for: cheap toast!

bad for: looking at. Stick to the eating.IMG_20171117_113324855 IMG_20171117_113313973 IMG_20171117_113336614

qualities: actually such a great toast bread!! Wide, flat, thin, overall just a great toast shape and texture. It really fries / crisps up when toasted, especially on the edges, which is really nice. I love a toast that’s a bit hard to chew; after enough toasting, this bread really delivers in that category. Although maybe that’s more a comment on the nature of toast.

Haven’t yet had the nerve to eat this bread untoasted; just based on appearance, I feel a bit freaked out by that possibility. It is a somewhat grey-ish brown color, not the most reassuring of appearances. Also oily.

In terms of taste, we’re talking sweet. The package claims a nutty taste but I deeply disagree with that evaluation.

Environment/packaging: Thin, milky clear plastic bag. Incidentally, the bread on the packaging looks absolutely nothing like the bread in the bag. Also not sure I understand the purpose of putting an image of bread on a bag that you can easily look through to see the actual, ~real~, bread? And then who chose this clownish red / tan/ orange color scheme? I guess if you are selling a bread for 69 cents maybe you’re not putting that much effort into appearances.

The package also claims “Carefully chosen ingredients” which is a bit frustrating because I was just starting to really like this bread, and then they came out with this obvious lie, and now I’m skeptical of the entire bread project. Also, how much selection goes into bread ingredients? It seems there are like a few things you always have to throw in to make bread be bread, so selection might not play too much of a role there. It seems like they just really wanted to have something positive to put on the package. Just wish they had gone in another direction with that.

Overall rating: 6.25 out of 10. Really impressed with the toast quality to price ratio. Not convinced by taste but it’s unobtrusive enough to not be a huge factor. All in all, a great bread for those cheap-toast weeks.

The Inaugural Bread Blog Bread Review: Whole & Pure, “Voll mit dem Besten”

selling point: It’s bread that’s almost entirely nuts or something like that?
qualities: sweet taste, refreshing, nutty so lots of good texture, lots of layers within the bread leads to an interesting textural eating experience (breaks apart in an interesting way). Reassuringly oily. Thick. Not a strong taste, again mildly sweet, definitely texture is its strength.
eaten with: avocado (sliced, not mashed) and then later also hummus
good for: hiking, breakfast,…?
not good for: Could be difficult to toast? Didn’t really try to toast because was afraid would crumble apart in the toaster? But that being said, not as crumbly as seed bread COULD be. I don’t think it really needs to be toasted, as a lot of this bread’s strength comes from it’s texture and cool/moistness, which might be lost if toasted. Remember, this bread already has a built-in crunch.
price: very expensive, 3.90 if I remember correctly. But very dense and filling, so you don’t really need more than one slice. Lasted several days.
packaging and presentation: Package is a calm tan + white with a clear folie strip (for looking at your bread in the supermarket, presumably). The packaging makes some pretty wild claims like “die neue Brotsensation!”. I don’t necessarily disagree, but what is this based on??

friendly review: “A marriage of opposites: crunchy yet moist”

overall rating: hard to say, really. I really like this bread, so I think if I were to start a rating scale right off the bat it could end up being a bit skewed because of how much I enjoyed this bread. So I think I’m going to hold off on the rating for now and maybe come back later when I’ve done some more sampling.


Snarky side complaint:

Website description is as follows:

“Brot als Auslöser von Revolutionen kennen wir. Dieses Brot allerdings ist selbst eine Revolution: Ohne Zusatz von Mehl und Hefe gebacken, feiert Whole & Pure die Kraft des ganzen Kornes, die volle Wucht des Geschmacks, die Lust an der Vitalität des Ursprünglichen. Whole & Pure ist voll mit dem Besten, was die Natur uns bietet.”

Classic revolutionary language being coopted and represented as marketing campaign. The “whole” individual self is not a revolution!! Drowning.

Hello Readers and Bread Fans!

This blog is about my personal search for the best bread. Bread is a staple, and it can be very difficult, in a world of options, to select and enjoy the best bread. This blog is dedicated to optimizing your bread search, giving you the information you need to be an informed bread consumer. Breads will be rated on qualities (internal and external) as well as price (bread for buck), availability (rare breads help no one), intelligence, etc.