The truth is bread underpins everything delicious. In fact, if the forces that be did away with it tomorrow, good food as we know it would be no more.
Simply put: the soft, doughy sensation of good bread could explain the existence of God. Some top slabs of ciabatta with olive oil and things Mediterranean, while others prefer something Hovisy slathered with butter and marmite.
But there is a flip side to bread: bad bread. There’s nothing worse than a piece of toast or sandwich made with sub-par bread. It will leave a rancid texture in your mouth and quite frankly ruin your day.
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Some people give bread the swerve entirely, claiming it gives them alleged ‘tummy issues’. But I’m not convinced: I think they’re weak and not built for tasty nosh.
As someone who regards themselves as a bread boffin, I reviewed a hugely popular south London bakery. Located in a dinky shop on King William Walk in Greenwich sits Paul Rhodes Bakery, which staff say has been there for a decade. It’s in fact so tasty that Katherine Parkinson from the IT has been in.
At first glance it’s very appealing: open and light with smiling staff, and of course – it’s stacked to the brim with doughy delights. There was only one thing to do at that point, venture in and introduce myself.
Much to my delight I was greeted by one of the incredibly kind staff on shift that day who gave me a quick rundown of what’s on offer.
He started with the many loaves of bread, which they can sell up to 60 of in a single day – all of which looked delicious. We then proceeded to the savoury snacks, including their tasty-looking sausage rolls.
I was given a tour of the sandwich section – and cast my beady eye over the mozzarella, basil, and tomato bad boy. And then finally it was the pastries – and was told their pan au chocolat was immensely popular.
Unfortunately I wasn’t allocated the expenses – nor do I have the stomach capacity – to try everything on sale so I had to limit myself to two things.
Smoked salmon, cream cheese and chive seeded bagel – £5.65
There’s good food and then there’s good food. And this is good food. I took one bite and BOW! I felt alive again. The first thing you feel is the woody, nutty taste of the toasted seeds massaging your tongue.
There’s nothing quite like it. The next hit you get is a smoked salmon and cream cheese concoction which is none like I’ve ever tasted. One thing that I’ve always hated about smoked salmon sandwiches is when it’s not even spread out. You know that feeling when you bite into a lumpy, stringy, warm mess and feel like you’ve got a mouthful of seawater with the texture of your inner cheek?
I didn’t get that at Paul Rhodes. Instead I was met with a delicious concoction of flavours. The only bad part about this – very generously sized bagel – is that I finished it.
Other than that it was flawless. And by far the best bagel I’ve ever had. Best £5.65 I’ve ever spent, and to the gent behind the counter who recommended it to me: I salute you.
Small white sourdough loaf 500g – £3.50
I’ve always been slightly sceptical of sourdough bread. Part of me thinks it’s an attempt by the middle classes to overrun the bread game. But that didn’t stop me from sinking my fangs into a piece of soft, white delicious bread. I had to make do with butter, but I strongly suggest future buyers to eat this with onion chutney and a strong, mature cheddar cheese.
This is by far one of the most delicious breads I’ve ever had and I take my hat off for the second to the man who recommended it to me. I then asked him why there’s been a huge rise in sourdough goods recently. And he gave me two reasons. It’s healthier, and it takes greater skill to bake – making it a far more artisanal bread.
Overall this is without question the tastiest bakery I’ve ever visited, and it’s no surprise it’s no unheard of to see a queue tailing out the shop on busy days. If you’re ever in the area, or even nearby, make sure you give it a visit – it’s the food of dreams – £9.15 well spent.
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