Posted by: Hil | July 2, 2008


Anna left a comment on yesterday’s post that made me simaltaneously proud and amused, complimenting me on my self-control around bread.  Believe me, that self-control is acquired and not inate.  I.  Love.  Bread.  Some kids sneak cookies when they are young…I would sneak slices of bread.  I absolutely love the stuff.  I think that most supermarket bread is a disgrace to the name of bread everywhere, but there is nothing like a crusty sourdough or a soft herbed ciabatta or a perfect, dense loaf of whole wheat.

Unfortunately, white bread is not the most nutritious of food and I find that even many whole wheat breads don’t keep me full as long as, say, a bowl of oatmeal.  Pretty much the only breads I buy are sprouted grain breads like Ezekiel 4:9 and the occasional loaf of dark, whole grain pumpernickel.  Those are the only breads that keep me full for any period of time.  The husband also frequently bakes whole wheat bread from scratch, so I’m known to have a slice of that with my dinner, as well.

But on a special occasion, that loaf of sourdough can seem awfully appealing.  I used to try to avoid white bread pretty much completely because it’s so easy for one slice to turn into half the basket.  Moderation with white bread on special occasions is something of a new strategy.  Here, I really must recommend the book French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano (and the sequel, French Women for All Seasons).  Despite the gimicky title, it’s really a wonderful book about food and culture and enjoying all things in life without going overboard or thinking too hard about it.  Highly recommended.  There is a section in which the author discusses bread, which is very central to French meals.  She advises the following:  1.  Buy quality (and bake it yourself if you can’t buy it)  2.  Always eat bread with your meal, not before it and 3.  Stick to a slice or so.  I found those suggestions very helpful.  There’s no way that I could have stuck to that tiny slice yesterday if I’d eaten it on an empty stomach an hour before my meal was ready.  But when I had a whole plate of food to work on, a couple of crunchy bites were perfectly satisfying.  And the bread itself was heavenly…crunchy and fresh from a local artisan bakery.  Most bread is very mediocre, and it’s definitely worth it to me to save my treats for the really great stuff!



  1. What an awesome post! And those are some great tips. I completely agree with you about Ezekiel and related breads, but when I get to the restaurant and that hot piping bread is calling my name while I am waiting for my meal, it is SO difficult not to eat several pieces! Thanks so much for this post. You really do emulate Ms. Guiliano’s lifestyle through and through! Hope you have a great weekend with your hubby!

  2. That’s such a great way of looking at bread, seriously! I really have been meaning to read that book about the French diet – it just seems so wholesome and enjoyable 🙂

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