Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The best thing since sliced bread

It has been 100 years since Otto Rohwedder invented a machine that automatically cut loaves of bread into slices.  Prior to this, consumers would purchase whole loaves of bread from their local bakery and cut it up themselves . . . this invention paved the way for commercial bakeries to sell pre-sliced loaves of bread.

Five years later, in 1917, major fire broke out in the factory where his slicing device was being manufactured  . . . destroying the blueprints.  

Not discouraged, he continued refining his design.  Including modifying his machine in such a way in to keep the bread fresh by creating a device that not only sliced the bread but wrapped it, as well.  

This was the improvement that finally got the baking industry fired up about his product and sales boomed  . . . so much so that he could barely keep up with the demand.

But it wasn't until 1930 that he saw his greatest success.  Wonder Bread . . . you know the white squishy bread in the colorful packaging . . . hit the store shelves and became wildly popular.  There was no turning back . . . it was at this point when more sliced bread was sold than whole loaves.

The man was a genius!  I mean really . . . the invention of sliced bread is the thing against which all things are measured.  How many times have you heard or said . . . "that's the best thing since sliced bread!"?

Zucchini Bread Recipe

2 Eggs, Beaten
1 1/3 Cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
3 Cups Grated Fresh Zucchini
2/3 Cup Melted Unsalted Butter
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
Pinch Salt
3 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
1 Cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional)
1 Cup Dried Raisins (Optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Mix in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. Sprinkle baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour, a third at a time. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg and mix. Fold in the nuts and dried cranberries or raisins if using.

Pour batter into an 9 x 13 baking dish and bake for 45 minutes - or - divide the batter equally between 2 buttered 5 by 9 inch loaf pans and bake for 1 hour.  Done when a wooden pick inserted in to the center comes out clean.

No comments:

Post a Comment