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Thursday, December 13, 2007

This has changed my life.

Have you ever tried La Brea bread sold in the bakery section at Jewel?  At least I believe Jewel is the only place around here that carries this delicious line of artisan breads.  It's a California bakery that was started in 1988 and now delivers partially baked loaves of specialty bread all over the country.

I've found it to be the best bread outside of the city and will make a special trip to Jewel to pick a loaf or two right before company comes.  It always was slightly annoying to have to run out to the store in the middle of cooking/baking/grilling etc...UNTIL.

UNTIL a bakery lady at Jewel to whom I will remain eternally grateful, shared a nugget of gold with me.  Pay it forward baby.  Here you go:

Rummaging through the offerings of bread out on the shelf, Jenni gently prods and pokes, attempting to find the freshest baguette amidst the small pile.  Nothing is to her liking though, it's obvious this bread was baked early in the morning and has sat out all day.  So, she decides to ask if there's any bread in the oven.

"Excuse me ma'am, do you have any of the La Brea baguettes in the oven?  I'm looking for a really fresh one for dinner tonight."

A kind, pleasantly round woman beams out at her from behind the counter and says, "You know, we're done baking for the day, but would you like me to get you a frozen one?  You can bake them at home you know."

This news strikes Jenni as an epiphany.  WHAT?!  What what what??  

"Wait, you mean I can do the same baking that you do in my own oven?  Do I need to do anything special, like put a pan of water in the bottom?  Will the crust be the same?  Really?"

At this point she is almost foaming at the mouth, struggling against the urge to immediately buy 14 loaves of bread and stock her freezer with the likes of Rosemary Olive Oil, Fruit and Nut, Roasted Garlic and of course the simple baguette.  She has issues with hoarding, you remember.

"I promise that it will taste exactly the same," the nice woman assures her, "Just defrost the large round loaves and bake them for about 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.  The baguettes you can just leave frozen, pop them right in on the oven shelf and bake for 15 minutes."

Jenni thanks her profusely, attempts to not tinkle in her pants out of excitement and heads home with two baguettes, to be baked right before her guests arrive.

Later that evening the house is filled with the smell of baking bread and there is joy and merriment in all the land.


Carlene said...

I have actually written LaBrea an email to tell them how much I loved their bread, and to thank them for delivering it to Illinois. And now this...! Again, I am SO glad I found your blog!

J said...

:) I'm glad to know others are as passionate about bread as I am!! I do feel slightly bad making them go into that massive freezer, the poor ladies have to go put their coats and gloves on!