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July 10, 2014

The Ultimate Bread Box

by Anne Paddock

In many homes, counter space in the kitchen is as closely allocated as rent-controlled apartments are in New York City. Once an appliance or piece of equipment earns its place, rarely is that space given up except if something better comes along.

In kitchen real estate, the bread box is an old-fashioned metal or wood container that used to be in nearly every home keeping bread fresh and crackers crisp. In recent years, its popularity has diminished primarily because most breads and crackers come in resealable bags but with the resurgence of homemade bread or bakery bought loaves, the bread box is making a comeback.

Years ago while living in Spain and Switzerland with my family, we bought fresh bread every day. In Madrid, the daily bread was chapata – an elongated loaf with a spongy crumb and chewy texture ideal for dipping in olive oil. In Switzerland, big round whole grain or sourdough loaves with a crispy browned crust and a crater filled interior were more popular. No matter the loaf, each was sliced on a 2-piece wooden slatted cutting board  designed to allow the crumbs to fall into the tray underneath.canstockphoto13211890

The beauty of a slatted cutting board is the design which prevents crumbs from spraying all over the countertop. Every kitchen in Spain and Switzerland had a slated cutting board on the countertop where the loaf was left to be cut throughout the day. At the end of the day, leftover bread would be put in the breadbox and the crumbs easily emptied.b_prodotti-73980-rel04987fbf7b8e435b8036e75ac2a8a308

WMF – a German company known for design and function – combined the bread box and slatted cutting board to make one efficient space-saving kitchen accessory: the WMF Bread Box: a bamboo and stainless steel bread box and cutting board in one. A 3-piece unit that combines style with utility, the WMF Bread Box holds up to two loaves while the 2-piece top consists of a stainless steel board with a bamboo slated cutting board thereby minimizing the amount of counter top space needed to both store and serve bread.wmf-brotkasten-wood-breadbox

The WMF Bamboo and Stainless Steel Bread Box sells for $100-$150, depending on the retailer. Pricy but made with German precision to last a lifetime. Marketgurney.com is selling the unit for $103 with free shipping, while www.Tableandhome.com is selling the box for $142 with free shipping. www.amazon.com offers the bread box for $129-$148 with free shipping. Beware of copycat bread boxes that look similar but not of the same quality.

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