I've read Nancy Silverton's books - inspirational and the recipes were excellent. But what i don't get is this: How can a person who preaches about the love and passion of great bread, and chants the earth mother mantra of organic ingredients can allow herself to cheapen her products in order to sell to a mass market?
I tried her breads at several supermarket chains in our area. AWFUL! all of them sold bread that was chewy (no crisp crust), undercooked, and had a funny, stale taste to them - almost like freezer burn. Our local shoprite got rid of their kiosk for Metropolitan Bakery - which served amazing breads made right across the bridge in Philadelphia. The owners said they decided to go with La Brea because it took up less room and people were "clamoring" for it. I don't get it - the stuff is pricey and the quality blows.
Anyway - all this to ask - is the Labrea bread in your area any good or are we experiencing a bread curse cast over south jersey?
Oh - and the same goes for Whole Foods. If you're gonna charge Wheel of Fortune prices for bread and donuts (calling dried out donuts "Beignets" doesn't justify the price) at leat cook it all the way through in real ovens.