Slice of Life – Artisan Breads

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Have you ever walked past a true bakery and been engrossed by the fragrance of the freshly baked breads wafting out towards you? Calling to you with that distinctive scent?  The smell of warm, freshly baked bread is something no one can resist; foodie, or not.

Therefore, subsequent to stumbling upon the name of this establishment by accident via social media; I was intrigued by the title of ‘artisan’ bread; which was something I have been searching for. Since coming to Pakistan, I have been searching for bakery items which are baked with love and care. I have visited bakeries all over the major cities; from Karachi to Islamabad, Lahore to Rawalpindi; however, every bakery sold the same generic breads and bakery items as the last; nothing special; nothing unrivaled.

I explored the menu of items created by the baker/owner of Slice of Life, which she prepares in her very own kitchen at her home. I was pleasantly surprised to find various types of breads; ranging from cranberry bread to white pita bread, multi grain to cinnamon swirl. Quite possibly, my search was over; however, before confirming such belief, I decided to experiment by trying a few items from the menu.

I placed an order for two medium loaves; one multigrain bread with seeds and the other honey wheat bread. In addition to that, I also decided to try butter croissants and cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting/glaze. The order was ready the following day and I picked it up from her home in the evening. Upon crossing the threshold of my home, I didn’t even bother to remove my shoes, drink a glass of water, or relax on a Friday night, as any normal person would after returning after a long and tiring day at work. No, I just set everything down and begun the examination of everything I just picked up fresh, from Slice of Life in the hopes that I may have finally found truly amazing breads.

On the face of it, I was very pleased with the method in which the breads were made. The soft bread held its shape even after being pre-sliced from the baker herself and travelling to my humble abode. They did not look flattened or squashed, as would be expected from the force or pressure of a knife whilst slicing; which I’m sure many of us have faced, for example when we want to slice a simple burger bun. There was a faint, yet distinguishable, shine on the top of both loaves. When pushed down lightly from the top of the loaf of bread, it had a slight spring in it and bounced back to its original shape.

The honey wheat bread was not too sweet, as would be the common question from any one owing to one of the obvious ingredients, which is also in its title, i.e., ‘honey’; but there was an unusually surprising balance. There was a hint of honey in the back of my palette after each bite, which left me longing for another bite in order to try to capture and confirm my hypothesis.

The slices of multigrain bread were so beautiful; each slice was like a unique snowflake. Different seeds riddled each slice in their own way; falling as they will

The finish of the butter croissants was also washed over with a shine, similar to that on both of the breads; twisted and rolled to make that familiar crescent shape. Flaky layers on the outside, as you slowly pull them apart to reveal the inside, which were soft and similar to puff pastry.

The cinnamon rolls were not as sweet as those that are sold at franchises across the nation that excited us all on its opening day. I was a bit reluctant to try this item from Slice of Life because on many occasions in the past, I have tried one bite and rather than there being harmony in the ingredients, it has resulted in being far too sweet and a waste of money. But to take a bite from these rolls was not as difficult given the items tried just prior to this. The cinnamon roll was not sweet enough for some of my family members; however, there was a cream cheese frosting/glaze to be poured on top. After the creamy, thick cream cheese glaze slowly melted down the ridges and sides of the cinnamon roll, everything just fell into place; the almost perfect cinnamon roll. One point to note, which was a bit of a disappointment, was that the glaze only lasted for that night; by the next day, there was an unusual layer which formed on top, thus, there was no choice but to dispose of it. However, it must clearly be stated that the glaze which was consumed the night of receiving the ordered items was perfectly fine and there were no negative consequences of its consumption. Nevertheless, if you DO decide to follow in my footsteps and order this glaze, please do keep in mind that it should be checked the following morning, prior to consumption.

All in all, it is safe to say that the notion I had subsequent to coming across an artisan baker in Karachi was, in fact, valid. No longer would it be compulsory to dine on standard and generic store-bought breads which, thanks to mass production and preference given to profit rather than quality of food, has significantly eliminated the art of baking breads over the years. Yes, we are in an era of machine-made goods; however, no attempt to cover up the obvious is made in order to make the consumer feel as though it ‘came out of grandma’s kitchen’. We know machines made it; we know we have no choice…until now.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. saira basit
    Apr 01, 2015 @ 11:24:57

    we should go there…when i come…….lovely

    Like

    Reply

    • Eat & Tell
      Apr 01, 2015 @ 11:27:45

      well, it is not an ‘establishment’ per se; rather it is a venture based out of the kitchen of an individual’s personal residence. However, yes, i’m sure you would enjoy some of the items.

      Like

      Reply

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