Why are there so many shapes of bread? When you see the array of fresh, artisan bread at a bakery, this is often a first question. I have two quick answers.

One is called the “crust to crumb” ratio. The crust is the outer portion of the bread, and the crumb being the inner part. Crust can vary from soft to very crisp. Crumb can result in airy to very fine and dense, depending on the technique.

The smaller and longer the loaf, the crustier the bread will be. The larger and more round the loaf, this leaves you with more crumb.

So if you like the crust, buy a baguette. If you like the inner, chewy part, purchase a loaf. Simple as that.

Another reason for variety of shape is to indicate what type of bread it is. With dozens of types of bread being baked, a baker or salesperson needs to be able to quickly recognize the bread being sold, without having to slice into it or taste it.

As we planned out menu, we wanted a shape that was not common, so through trial and error, we came up with the triangle shape for our daily loaves. We slash the white with three cuts (as shown) and the wheat with an X to tell the difference.

Next Sunday, January 20th from 2-4pm, we are holding our second baking class at our store. You will learn hands-on how to work with sourdough. Space is limited to 6 people. Cost is $50 and includes food and drink to start, all the bread you bake and starter to take home. Call us at 438-2255 to reserve a place.

Bread Shapes