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The best sliced bread

Sliced bread is a great thing.  Our household does toast for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch and munch on it on many points in between.  BUT, when it comes to picking good, wholesome, affordable breads, I'm curious how you choose?  At the store, a wall full of packaged bread is overwhelming. 

A friend once told me that the rules of 3s apply to bread: no more than 3 grams of fat, at least 3 grams of protein, and at least 3 grams of dietary fiber.  I would add that we shouldn't have to spend over $3 for a loaf of sliced bread. 

What's the difference?  What do you look for?  Doyou grab and go or do you compare ingredient lists?  Do you go local over all else?  Lower carb?  Lower cost?  Any go-to brands that you always pick up?

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I must say I love the mundane topics like these!

I have been thinking of this of late because I recently noticed that the relatively inexpensive brand of bread we buy (I forget the brand, but it comes in various shades of wheat at Fred Meyer. Western Heritage maybe?) has high fructose corn syrup in it. I noticed this b/c on the Franz bread (the "fancy" kind, not the basic long loaf of plain wheat) the package advertises "No high fructose corn syrup." So I've been buying the various types of Franz wheats (9 grain, etc.). But I think it costs around 3.50 a loaf, which is way more than the other brand. Still, like buying organic dairy, at the moment I'm thinking it's worth it...to avoid the corn syrup? (having only vaguely heard about, not actually read, recent polemics on the negative ubiquity of corn in Americans' diets) Anyone want to edify me further?

They have one of the nutty, wheaty wonderful Franz breads w/o high fructose corn syrup sold in double loaves at Costco. Honestly, I didn't check if the price was really all that better...I just feel like I'm getting a good deal!


This is interesting as just last week I was at Safeway buying bread. My musts for bread-- must be whole wheat and must have NO High Fructose Corn Syrup(that stuff is bad, bad, bad!). Unfortunate thing is...I think I only found 2 or 3 kinds out of the entire wall of breads that met that criteria...and I think I paid about $3.50 for it. I know Sara Lee makes a De-Lightful Whole wheat bread w/only 45 calories per slice and no HFCS...but either I go to the store at the wrong time or that stuff is really popular...because it is rare when I can actually find it!

this is one of my luxuries and for some reason one food thing I feel strongly on. I buy organic dairy and bread but not veggies. I am kind of torn on the veggie thing... anyway back to bread. Its just 2 of us and I think the GOOD bread is worth it. I buy I think Gabriel Bakery. Its really expensive and I cringe when I buy it. Maybe 4-5$. But It lasts a while and it tastes so much better.

I too like these questions. We get the Franz whole wheat and whole grain varieties. Cost is not as much as a factor as shelf life. I don't like cold bread or have to toast all bread. Many of the more natural/organic/made at the store/bakery (new seasons, great harvest) whole wheat breads go bad too fast. That said, what is in the Franz that makes it last? I will have to look. I also figure Franz is local-ish, compared to other brands.

My criteria used to be no high fructose corn syrup (I really don't buy anything with it in it, frankly) and whole grains. Now I bake my own bread and am not looking back.

As a SAHM I have time to make our own bread. Yes, using a machine... I'm not a martyr.

Like many others who've posted, my criteria are also whole grains and that the bread contains no HFCS. I usually buy Franz bread - the Sweet Dark is my current fave. I also like Dave's Killer Bread, but it doesn't seem to last as long. Gabriel's is good too, but several of the loaves I've botten seemed rather stale.

I love the Whole Foods brand of wheat bread. It always seems fresh and is reasonably priced and no corn syrup. There's also a great little bakery in LO called the Upper Crust that has a wonderful variety of fresh baked bread without any junk in it.
It really is alarming when you start reading labels and see how many foods have the HF corn syrup...pasta sauce is another item you have to work hard to find sans the syrup. This kind of stuff is where I can justify spending a little extra money. I just wish you didn't have to pay more for healthier stuff.

Timely topic for me since my favorite (local) bread, Dave's is now officially out of my price range. We go through 2 loaves a week, and I just cannot justify $50/month on sandwich bread! It's so good though... I have not tried Franz, but I think I will. In the meantime, I've been buying the inexpensive 100% whole wheat from Country Oven at FM. It's got 1.5g fat, 3 g fiber and 4g protein per slice and the first 5 ingredients are your basic flour, water, etc.

I made a loaf of bread this weekend and it was ok, but I definitely need to practice a bit...for you homemade bread makers, any good recipes to share?

How I L-O-V-E Dave's killer bread, but how I lament the cost. And didn't they raise it recently? If they get too greedy they'll lose us! There are other good ones out there, though getting whole wheat ain't that easy, but Dave's is, truly, killer.

After working for years at Grand Central Bakery I have become a bread snob. This is not a good thing. I will go without unless I can get myself to a bakery. Expensive? Yes, around 3.50 a loaf. For me it is about taste, I don't think much about the amount of whole grain. My favorite is the Peasant Loaf though I am a sucker for Como, white bread. I have been known to buy the bread at New Seasons Bakery, though they don't compare in taste and crust.

we're total suckers for dave's bread as well. the price is insane but we don't eat much bread around here so it seems worth it. lately the dave's sprouted grain is my fave.

get too greedy!?!

Have you priced a bushell of wheat lately? It's over $9, 3 times higher than a couple years ago. You can thank bio-fuels and a drought in Auz.

I'll have to look for the "fancy" Franz bread because I used to buy the (basic?) Franz until I noticed it had HFCS. We often get bread at Trader Joes; they have a few whole wheat/non HFCS options although honestly I don't think they're super tasty. My husband doesn't care about the taste so much, though, and he eats the majority of the bread. If I'm in the mood for a splurge and can get downtown, I love Great Harvest. If looking for something other than sliced sandwich bread I often go to New Seasons--love their wheat nut loaf!

I don't use my breadmaker. I've never been happy with the results there. I have a Kitchen Aid with a dough hook and it does all the work for me! I've just been using a basic oatmeal bread recipe that came with the mixer. It makes two loaves, one for the oven and one for the freezer. In terms of time, it's about 30 minutes to make the dough, it rises for an hour or so, then another hour or so for the second rise and about 40 minutes to bake. I can do it in one morning or evening and have bread for the week. The frozen one gets taken out at night and left out to do the second rise overnight and then baked in the morning. I have no idea if this is cheaper or not. I'm guessing it is, but I don't have solid facts on my side. I just know I feel better about serving, and eating, it.

I am almost embarrassed to say that I have rarely looked for HFCS in the ingredient list. Something I should keep an eye out now. For us, sliced bread is an important carrier of protein (peanut butter) to the kids, so we need something affordable but delicious. Some breads are drier and the kids don't like it and don't eat their lunch. Top brand for us are Franz (local), Dave's killer (local but expensive but delish!), and Milton's Healthy Way (carried @ Trader Joe's and a 2-loaf pack for about $4 at Costco, tho I rarely make it out to Costco for my bread!).

In a pinch, I buy 99 cent loaves from the corner store, and the girls actually will notice and comment how soft the bread is. If they had their druthers, they'd have the HFCS $0.99 stuff from plaid pantry.

For sandwiches, we love the Crushed Wheat Bread at Trader Joe's. Don't worry, it's made locally. We stock up when we go and put the extras in the basement freezer (thaw in the fridge and the bottom won't get soggy). Crushed wheat and whole wheat flour, honey, non-fat milk, 3 grams of fiber, 3 of protein and only 1 of fat. Yes, I am a label reader. When we are out of this, our favorite, we get by on New Season's whole wheat sandwich or 9-grain bread.

For those interested in making their own bread, has anyone tried the no-knead method? See the technique mentioned here:
http://readymademag.com/blog/2006/11/15/lazy-bread

Also I think there was a Food Day or Oregonian article on this some time ago. I am fascinated by this as a "project" to try with my kids.

Also, I love Dave's Killer Bread, but I eat, like, the entire loaf in one sitting when I buy it. I have no willpower when faced with delicious bread, so I usually buy plain simple cheap wheat bread for sandwiches. It's less tempting to me.

holy cow, i never heard/thought of HFCS in bread...oops! anyway, i've never heard of this Dave's bread. i use Franz San Juan Island 9 grain...been eatin' it for years and think it's great, plain for sandwiches AND toasted! i just looked at the label and it says no HFCS, so at least that's good! 5g protein, 1.5g fat, 8g whole grain per slice....it's normally $3.69 a loaf, but i always buy it on sale...sometimes Winco has it for $1.88, elsewhere $2.50, except the past month i haven't found it cheaper than $3.00 so i think the $2.50 days are gone.

For you fellow Dave's fans, get out to their outlet store! Prices run about 1/2 off for day-olds and frozen loaves. Details are on their website... look at the bottom of the home page for a link to their outlet.

we LOVE Dave's Killer Bread. I usually look for a whole grain bread that doesn't contain refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

we LOVE Dave's Killer Bread. I usually look for a whole grain bread that doesn't contain refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

We also love all of the Nature Bake products,especially Dave's Killer Bread. I just returned from their outlet store and stuffed 12 loves of bread in the freezer. At $22.00 for a dozen, that's just about $1.83 a loaf. If you don't have a room for that much bread, maybe you could split if with someone. My neighbor and I sometimes do this.

I've had many a struggle with finding a good sliced bread...I love Grand Central's Como loaf and Ken's Walnut bread but those are a little too chewy (on the crust) for my toddler. We prefer organic and local is a bonus...we try to alternate between whole wheat and some other grains (9 grain, etc.)...going Organic is really important for us but it also removes the need to check for high fructose corn syrup, etc.
I've found New Season's in-house sandwich breads to be tasty but unfortunately, it molds very quickly (two days usually!) We go through bread slowly, so I need something that lasts longer (without having to freeze it). So my favorite in-store brand (carried at Fred Meyer, Wild Oats, Whole Foods, and some New Seasons) is by FAR Rudi's Organic Bakery bread. Soft yet sturdy with great flavor. Love the Honey Whole Wheat. It has a VERY long shelf life on the counter and holds up well in the fridge. It can run a bit higher than $3 a loaf but I find it on sale at Fred Meyer all the time. I THINK it's made in Colorado?

Having moved to the land of no real grocery stores, I have recently discovered my grandmother in me, and have started to bake bread. This is facilitated by the discovery of a couple really easy no-knead breads.

"Myrtle Allen's Brown Bread" from "Beard on Bread" by James Beard takes about 2 hours start to finish, including mixing, rising and baking. And it's really, really good.

The other I found in Mother Earth News a couple months ago. It is a longer rising time, but the same amount of work. A tasty, European style crusty bread, you can find it on their website.

When I am feeling brave and have a whole day at home I try some other recipes, but these two loaves have become a staple. I am no baker, but these are really really good.

My most important thing when it comes to bread is lower carb and higher protein. I am diabetic and difference in blood sugar impact is significant. I like to get Franz 9 grain and Milton's in the RED package - the stuff in the purple package is MUCH higher in carbs (19 g vs 26g, I think). It's usually around $3. I think it has 5 or 6 g of fiber. We also buy the cheaper ones sometimes, especially since I don't eat much sandwich bread anymore.

Vita Bee Bread - this is available at Fred Meyer and this week it is 3/$5.

The bag states, "Delicious nutlike flavor, made from 100% Northwest Hard Wheats, Sweetened with Honey, Contains juices from 8 Vegetables." Ingredients: Whole Wheat Flour, Water, Cracked Wheat, Honey, Vital Wheat Gluten, Yeast, Salt..etc. etc. Even juices from carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress and spinach. You get the point.

In terms of nutrition, it has 1g fat, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 4g protein, 16g carbs per slice.

What I like about this bread is that it is small and not overly dense or huge. It's the right amount for a sandwich or just plain toast. If I am in the mood for really good expensive bread, I go for Gabriel's Bakery bread.

I think, just scanning the responses quickly that Rudi's only got a single mention, but I LOVE it! It's organic, whole wheat (there are actually several whole grain varieties), no HFCS, not too too mushy, long shelf life, and it's usually on sale at QFC or FM.

Franz bread all the way - the whole wheat with "honey pockets" is all that will do for the kids pb& j sandwiches. I buy them at the Franz outlet. And once a month with an entertainment book coupon, 2 loafs for $1.50.

My husband likes squishy white bread, and I like sprouted wheat/millet/lentil whatever hippy bread. So lately, I've been making whole grain bread at home using a really easy one loaf recipe for a batter bread (no kneading as it is a wet dough, just mix, let rise and bake, takes maybe an hour and a half start to finish). When I'm feeling ambitious and my babe seems to be napping well, I'll make a more traditional bread that requires kneading. So far the compromise seems to be working--who can resist freshly baked bread?

At our house we eat a lot of bread-- probably a loaf every other day. I'm not that hard to please, but my husband is from Germany, where many people buy bread fresh from the bakery every day, so he is incredibly fussy. Supermarket bread just won't do. He's right, of course-- "artisan" bread really does taste better, and we like Grand Central, Pearl Bakery and Gabriel's very much, but at 3 or 4 dollars a loaf it gets to be expensive. So after reading the Oregonian's article on no-knead bread, I decided to give home-baking a try.
To make a long story short, it has worked out great! I liked the method and results so much that I went out (well, actually my husband went out) and bought the book, Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, on which the article was based. I haven't bought a loaf of bread since December. It isn't really 5 minutes a day (more like ten or fifteen), but it's still quick, cheap, and delicious, and I know exactly what's in in the dough. Bread is virtually the only food my two-year-old will eat, so it's nice to know he's getting at least some nourishment from the wheat germ and other sneaky things I add to the mix. Plus, I can mix up a big batch of dough, keep it in the fridge, and have enough to keep us in bread for the whole week. I love it!

We've recently tried alternatives to wheat, for the heck of it, and love Nature Bake's whole grain spelt bread. It isn't hard and tasteless like most spelt breads and it yields 4 grams of protein per serving! You can also find it at TJ's and I don't think it's more than $3.

For sandwiches, we use Dave's Killer. My daughter loves it (she won't even eat white bread). I just hand her a slice while I'm preparing her breakfast and she devours it. The cost is worth it to me because it's whole grain, no chemicals and I like the social aspects of helping an ex-con make a living (hopefully he's hiring other ex-cons -- they are less likely to re-offend if they have work).

I also make bread (bread machine) and for Artisan Breads, I'm a fan of either Grand Central or Fred Meyer's (their garlic and assagio are really good).

Hi,
Another vote for homemade! The no knead recipe is a revelation, and my husband (!) makes at least two loaves a week. That said, we do buy at Grand Central when there's no homemade in the house, or to change things up a bit. The Como and Goldendale are our faves, and they'll slice it for you. In a pinch though, Rudi's Organic does the trick, and it's at most major grocery stores.

Whole wheat flour has to be the first ingredient. Bonus points if it's organic.

So this is taking the question in a bit of a different direction, but just in case anyone is in need of a good gluten-free bread I can recommend Kinnikinnick (I know! That name!). If you keep it in the freezer and then toast it lightly it makes great sandwich bread. It has a very normal bread-like flavor and stays together, no crumbling. The price? $4.50. I know! If you don't need GF bread count yourself very lucky.

I read this the other day & last night checked for HFCS in our bread. Yay! None!

We buy Milton's (purple package) at TJs. Freezer space is too limited in our house to buy the costco size.

Nature Bake outlet store! They sell all the great sprouted wheat Nature Bake breads (I love Surviva) along with Dave's Killer Breads at amazing prices, especially if you buy the frozen loaves. Right now it's on (I think) 63rd off of NE Halsey, but they'll be moving to the Bob's Red Mill site out in Milwaukie in a month or so.

(Just saw Rosanne's comment, so I guess I should just say, "Yeah -- what she said!")

Wow--some of you have really inspired me to make some bread at home! My husband and I really love to cook and bake, so this should be fun for us and our kiddos! Thanks!

For whole grain that tastes good, you can't beat the stuff sold by Fressen, especially the volkkorn. And when figuring out how to spell that, I noticed that they're giving a class in making it next Sunday. Details at http://fressenartisanbakery.com/_wsn/page4.html

So, I just got back from the weekly supermarket trip and another bread that we're fond of: "Trader Joe's White Whole Wheat Bread". 5g protein, no HFCS, 4g fiber, and $3.29.

Thanks for posting the info on the classes, Catmom! They look wonderful--something to definitely keep in mind for the future.

The way we go through bread (Orowheat) I am sorely tempted to start making our own. I mean, sometimes Orowheat is as much as $4, which is just outrageous. This is the whole wheat bread recipe I am keen to try from http://frugal-pdx-living.blogspot.com/2006/10/well-i-made-my-improved-bread-recipe.html.

Apparently it makes two average size loaves of bread or one quite large one.

3-4 cups whole wheat flour (I use Bob's Red Mill brand)
1/2 cup vital wheat gluten (Bob's Red Mill again)
1 tsp salt
3 tbl olive oil
4 tbl honey
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 pkg regular yeast or 4 tsp yeast

Measure out the first three ingredients into a bowl, set aside. Mix in
a bowl the water (110-120 degrees), olive oil, honey and yeast. Slowly
mix in the flour (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer). Dough should be not
sticking to the sides of the bowl. I usually end up using 3 1/2 cups
of flour. I let my mixer knead the dough for 7-8 minutes. If you
knead by hand, knead for 10-12 minutes. Wheat bread needs a longer
knead time.

Place in oiled bowl in warm place, covered by a towel or plastic wrap,
for about an hour or until about double in size. Punch down, turn out
of bowl. I make the dough into a ball and use a serrated knife to cut
in half. Shape each half into a rectangular roll and place in loaf
pans. Cover and let rise about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for
25-30 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.

wow its been a while since this topic was discussed, but no one mentioned my fave, the Ezekiel sprouted breads. in general we try to stay away from processed flours, and this is an amazing bread. we also love the Manna breads. both are found in the freezer section, and both are worth it!!

Is it possible to make a tasty sandwich from frozen bread? I would love to freeze bread for PB&J, but I haven't figured out the best way to thaw it out and then have it be edible 3 hours later at lunch at school. I don't see toasting as an option since the sandwich won't be eaten immediately. But perhaps I'm missing something. Help!

No one has posted my fave - Nature Bake 4 x 5 bread. YUM!!! But pricey...

There's a reason why I already started to make my own bread.. to avoid these hassles. And I'm happier because I get to save more. :) Now, I have 4 loaves of banana bread in my kitchen. :) Here's my recipe if you want to try it: http://www.foodforfitness.co.uk/banana-bread-recipe.php

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