S.F. Rising: Acme's Sweet Loaf
|The sweet loaf at Acme isn't really sweet.|
Source: Acme Bread Company, Ferry Plaza Marketplace, 288-2978; or 1601 San Pablo, Berkeley, (510) 524-1327
While Acme's batards, baguettes, and herb slabs can be found in most of the city's grocery stores, the Ferry Plaza and Berkeley bakery stores carry a number of more difficult-to-find breads, including the "sweet" and "sour" loaves ― sandwich bread baked from Acme's two baguette doughs.
The sweet loaf, which I bought yesterday, has the same golden, slashed top as a baguette or a boule; my bag squashed the loaf during the trip home, but the bread cracked rather than crumpling, its surface fracturing into appealing, glossy facets. Howevever, the first slice was a disappointment. Its flavor was flaccid (you don't eat a baguette for the center, do you?), and its airy crumb and loose structure meant that any sandwich I made with it would soon be dotted with blobs of mustard and mayo that had squished out through the airholes.
Then I put a second slice in the toaster.
Aha! The nuttiness of the baguette crust emerged. It's toast that wants a little butter and honey, toast that's perfect for BLTs and club sandwiches. As long as you respect the source of the bread of course ― with pastured meats, farmers'-market vegetables, and homemade mayonnaise.