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How to Make Toast So Awesome You Can Charge $4 a Slice

How to Make Toast So Awesome You Can Charge 4 a Slice Bon App tit


1) Start with good bread

2) Slice it thicker

3) Get your toaster hella hot

4) It's always better with butter

5) Salt it

6) Eat it as fast as you can

Stashed in: Good Eats!, San Francisco!, Awesome, Stories, Recipes!, San Francisco

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Shouldn't an entire LOAF of bread cost less than $4?

Josey Baker takes his toast seriously. But that’s only because, first and foremost, he is a baker. (And, yes, Baker is his real last name.) When I called him to talk about his bread and, consequently, the wildly popular toast at The Mill—the San Francisco establishment he co-runs with FourBarrel Coffee—he spoke with as much enthusiasm as a kid talking about his brand-new bicycle. “There’s plenty of people doing toast now, [but] most of them aren’t making the bread themselves,” he said. “It’s a really critical

piece of the puzzle as far as we’re concerned.” And while The Mill was not the first to create a thick-sliced, Nutella-topped piece of  artisanal toast, Baker and his crew have certainly perfected the art. The one caveat? The thing some people can’t get over? That coveted slice can run you upwards of $4.

“Hipster Toast,” as the phenomenon is being called by outraged and genuinely befuddled media outlets, has taken San Francisco by storm, with iterations at bakeries and cafés around the city. There are even reports of Hipster Toast reaching as far as L.A. (What’s up, NYC? Why no Hipster Toast?) But out of context—and let’s be honest, in most cases—the question is valid: Why would people pay that much for a slice of toast? The answer is equally valid: Because it’s really, really good. Especially at The Mill.

“We had no idea that this was going to happen—I just wanted to create a way for people to eat my bread that wasn’t buying a whole loaf. I realize there’s a small amount of absurdity, here,” Baker admitted. But the whole process is a meticulous labor of love, and a long labor at that. “From start to finish, each loaf takes about 36 hours,” he explained, describing how The Mill stone-grinds all its whole-grain flours in-house, and how all its bread is made with a sourdough starter—a more difficult and temperamental method of bread-making than using commercial yeast.

Hipster toast. Okay.

Stacks of freshly baked Josey Baker bread

Hahahaha, one of the funniest things about living in SF has to be keeping up with all hipster stuff, just for a laugh. No way i would pay 4 Obamas in a toast :)

You're planning on spending that much for a Cronut:

Isn't a Cronut very similar to super-expensive awesome toast? :)

Except a Cronut isn't toasted. DUH. :D

Noooo, the diference is that all of us can make an awesome toast (buying some good bread), but i have no clue how to make a Cronut :)

You both make good points. Juliana, after eating a Cronut you might never want another one.

One of the links in that Bon Appetit story was to this one: I want to highlight it because I came across it today, and it made me smile.

Ha! Why did it make you smile?

It's super cute article! I am not sure about you Elisabeth, but this part made me smile!

Back at the Red Door one day, I asked the manager what was going on. Why all the toast? “Tip of the hipster spear,” he said.

I had two reactions to this: First, of course, I rolled my eyes. How silly; how twee; how perfectly San Francisco, this toast. And second, despite myself, I felt a little thrill of discovery. How many weeks would it be, I wondered, before artisanal toast made it to Brooklyn, or Chicago, or Los Angeles? How long before an article appears in Slate telling people all across America that they’re making toast all wrong? How long before the backlash sets in?

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to go looking for the origins of the fancy toast trend. How does such a thing get started? What determines how far it goes? I wanted to know. Maybe I thought it would help me understand the rise of all the seemingly trivial, evanescent things that start in San Francisco and then go supernova across the country—the kinds of products I am usually late to discover and slow to figure out. I’m not sure what kind of answer I expected to turn up. Certainly nothing too impressive or emotionally affecting. But what I found was more surprising and sublime than I could have possibly imagined.

That's such a whimsical attitude. 

My thoughts go the other way: $4 toast is like $5 coffee in that it's indifferent to the economic struggle most people go through.

I just really liked the story behind Trouble - Giulietta Carrelli's history, and how the shop represents her own personal safety net, that it's her way of keeping connected to reality.

Yeah, it's super cute!

Hey Adam, that part is before he finds out her story. His curiosity about the toast lead him to a quest that ended up showing a cool story behind it!

Thank you both for encouraging me to read on. You're right, it's a good story.

Read ALL the words, Adam. ;)

I sometimes have difficulty getting all the way to the end.

Me too. There's a lot out there, and if you spend too long on one thing, you'll probably miss something else. Dammit.

FOMO = Fear Of Missing Out.

It's a function of the time we live in.

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