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bread

What’s the first food item that jumps into your head when you think of Texas? BBQ? Queso? Breakfast tacos?

All reasonable choices. But you’d be missing the obvious, a food item that bears the name of the state: Texas toast.

color photo of foccaccia
Matija Breads / facebook.com/Matija-Breads-798266626863594/

“I love, love, love to feed people,” Matt Swint said. “I don’t think that there’s anything cooler in the world.”

During the early 1800s, wheat production made Ohio one of the leading grain-growing states in the U.S. As prairie land was settled and major wheat growing moved westward, the grain became less important to the state’s agricultural economy. Corn and soybeans became the staple of farming, and now wheat fields are few and far between in the Ohio countryside.

Jonathan Bethony admits the breads he'll be churning out at Seylou Bakery & Mill, which just opened this month in Washington, D.C., might not appeal to everyone.

The dark crusts of his pain au levain have a charred appearance and complex flavors to match their hue. Inside the loaves, a toothsome chewiness gives way to the tang of sourdough and a taste that can only be described as distinctly wheat-y.

Crumbs may seem harmless here on Earth, but they can be a hazard in microgravity — they could get in an astronaut's eye, or get inhaled, causing someone to choke. Crumbs could even float into an electrical panel, burn up or cause a fire.

That's part of the reason why it was a very big deal in 1965 when John Young pulled a corned beef sandwich out of his pocket as he was orbiting the earth with Gus Grissom.

"Where did that come from?" Grissom asked Young.

"I brought it with me," Young said.

Benjamin Wolfe sticks his nose into a Ziploc bag and takes a whiff. "Ooh! That's actually kind of nice," he says. Inside the bag is a pungent, beige goop. It's a sourdough starter — a slurry of water, flour, yeasts and bacteria — from which loaves of delicious bread are born. And it's those microbes that have the attention of Wolfe, a microbiologist at Tufts University.

All Sides Weekend: Chefs in the City

Jun 2, 2017
bread
Scott Bauer / Wikimedia Commons

Bread. You buy it at the store or the bakery, maybe the farmers market. You grab it from a basket on the table at the restaurant. But all breads are not created equal.

Breadmaker, teacher and author Sarah Black of Flowers and Bread in Clintonville shares her vision of great bread.

Plus, the usual reviews and observations from WOSU food critics Stephan Stover and Rich Terapak Sr. Join us.

Is It Safe To Eat Moldy Bread?

Apr 21, 2017

Like politics and music, the question of whether to eat moldy food can divide families, with relatives' admonishments reverberating in one's head for years.

"Every time I throw out moldy bread, I can still hear my dad lecturing me: 'That's perfectly good! Just cut that part off! It's penicillin!' " says Shawna Iwaniuk, a graphic designer in Alberta, Canada. "But ... I just can't."

So, who's right? Is the furry green stuff a death knell for a baguette, or just a minor setback?

For food safety experts, the answer is clear: Moldy bread is bad news.

On a bitterly cold day in February 1846, the French writer Victor Hugo was on his way to work when he saw something that affected him profoundly.

A thin young man with a loaf of bread under his arm was being led away by police. Bystanders said he was being arrested for stealing the loaf. He was dressed in mud-spattered clothes, his bare feet thrust into clogs, his ankles wrapped in bloodied rags in lieu of stockings.

"It made me think," wrote Hugo. "The man was no longer a man in my eyes but the specter of la misère, of poverty."

When it comes to climate change, we often think of the cars we drive and the energy we use in our homes and offices. They are, after all, some of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. But what about the toast you ate for breakfast this morning?

A new study published Monday in Nature Plants breaks down the environmental cost of producing a loaf of bread, from wheat field to bakery. It finds that the bulk of the associated greenhouse gas emissions come from just one of the many steps that go into making that loaf: farming.

Baking Bread

Feb 12, 2016

While the smell of freshly baked bread drifting throughout the house sounds lovely to many, the process of baking can be intimidating for beginners. This hour we'll learn all about making homemade bread, from basics rules to how to prepare multiple different kinds of breads.