The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

What's the worst loaf you have ever encountered?

pjaj's picture

What's the worst loaf you have ever encountered?

I've baked some bricks in my time, but I think that the worst loaf I've ever come across was a recent purchase from a leading supermarket in the UK. Yes, I should have known better, but they do stock some fairly good artisan type breads in a specialist range, and this was supposedly a chili loaf (400 gr, white). It looked OK from the outside, so I thought I'd try it.

  • The crust was hard not crisp
  • The cooked part of the dough was tough (not well risen, poor crumb structure)
  • There was a huge hole in the middle of the loaf
  • This was surrounded by raw, sticky dough
  • There was no chili in it that I could detect

So five faults in one inedible loaf.

The birds wouldn't eat it, a month later there are still untouched lumps of it on my bird feeder and they have not even gone mouldy, so just what was this thing made of?

asicign's picture

Since it's still pretty much intact, perhaps it's time to take it back to the supermarket for a refund.

pjaj's picture

It's already in the food recycling bin.

BettyR's picture

I haven't eaten a slice of Wonder bread type bread from the supermarket since I was a kid in school. I had been feeling a bit under the weather and decided to get lazy and just buy a bag of bread.

That was the most disgusting stuff I can ever recall putting in my mouth. It actually made my stomach turn a flip or two...I don't see how people eat that stuff. I really don't remember the bread being that bad when I was a kid. It had the texture of foam and tasted nothing like bread... I still can't think of anything to compare it to. I tore it up and threw it out to the chickens and they wouldn't eat it either. I ended up having to pick it up and throw it in the trash.

clazar123's picture

I shared some starter with my b-in-law. I know in years past he had baked bread (Tassajara era). On one visit he presented a beautiful loaf-tall,great crumb,sliced well. My sister warned me it was "a bit sour". WOW! If you had a metal plate, it would have eaten right through! I inquired as to technique and what impressed me was he could get that long a rise without the dough being disintegrated by enzymes.  I couldn't eat more than 1 bite-it was solid vinegar. I liked the SD pancakes much more.

G-man's picture

I guess I'm pretty lucky with local bakeries in my area, I don't have many complaints in that department.

I could say the bricks when I started making sourdough were bad, but they were flavorful and I guess my teeth needed loosening?

No, the worst bread I ever had was a beautiful boule. It was wonderfully golden brown, the slashes were perfect, it rose to a magnificent peak in the oven and was almost perfectly round. The only thing I forgot was the salt. It was bland and disgusting.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Send them a formal letter how bad it was and that you can bake better.

I recently had a girl friend complain about some bad cookies she had tasted.  "Made me vomit,"  she wrote and was ready to present the shop owner with her own better tasting ones.   She did and got a contract!   :)

gcook17's picture

The worst loaf I ever had was a "baguette" from a small bakery in Watkins Glen, NY.  I got it a couple of years ago.  It was shaped like a baguette but it had the crust and crumb of a dry old stale loaf of Wonder bread.  After a few bites it went into the bin.  Surprisingly there was a big supermarket chain in that part of NY (I think the name was something like Wegman's??) that had great bread.  There was also a small artisan bakery in nearby Ithaca that had really good bread.

Emelye's picture

They are a chain in western New York State, headquartered in Rochester.  They have an "artisan" bakery in most of their stores that sells loaves from a central source that par bakes and freezes them and which they finish baking just before selling them.  I had a sourdough rosemary & sea salt loaf from them that was pretty good, it insired me to get deeper into using sourdough myself.  I haven't tried their baguettes yet (I'm too fond of my own bread to want to buy it in the store anymore, lol!).


nicodvb's picture

were absolutely beyond disgusting, something that not even the most perverse imagination can conceive. This is the cost of being an experimentor.