25-IV-2012 11:39

It's completely different from what you know. Although in recent years it's becoming more Western-like, the classic bread can still be found in many small bakeries. It has a crunchy crust, is not wrapped, not sliced, and the inside is soft ("as soft as a soul"), but when you slice it, the slice is firm enough that you can spread butter over it. Toaster not needed at all.

There's almost a cult of warm bread, fresh from the oven. Traditionally, someone from the household would have to wake up early - the bread was baked overnight - to catch the bread while it's hot. The special pleasure came from pinching the loaf while it hangs in a tote on the handlebar of a bicycle. Often the loaf would come 100g shorter, with one okrajak (loaf butt) missing. Okrajak is a delicacy for some, simply because there's more crust.

The loaf is getting smaller over the years - in the fifties, it was 1kg or 2kg, and the clerk in the grocery would cut it for you if you wanted 0,5 or even 0,25 kg. Then it was only 1kg, then 700g, 600g... and nowadays it's just 500g, but that's the industrial bread. Bakeries make a variety of breads and other pastry (lepinje, pogačice, kifle, somun, cipovka...), and even a 2kg rye bread (without cumin!). Although, they have become as hefty as the american olive oil sellers, who made it legal to call the oil italian if it has only 11% of italian oil in it: these guys now get away with about 7% of rye flour in the dough, and sell it as rye bread. It doesn't smell like rye, and the color is achieved by additives.