Soft white sandwich bread gets a bad rap. Health nuts extol the virtues of breads packed with grains and seeds. Food snobs prefer crusty artisan loaves and consider white bread an affront to their delicate sensibilities. Well, I say white bread absolutely has its place in everyone's kitchen. Sandwiches such as egg salad, BLT, grilled cheese and PB&J simply aren't the same without white bread's soft, form-fitting goodness.
Now, I'm not talking about any old white bread here. I've tried almost every grocery store brand and none approaches Japanese shokupan, also known as milk toast or milk bread. It only takes one aromatic whiff to let you know how radically different it is from its spongy Wonderbread cousin. Shokupan is an intricate series of airy and buttery layers. The golden crust is just thick enough to provide some structure without having to run interference if you're eating it untoasted. When it is toasted, the bread resembles a crème brulee with its shattering crust and creamy insides. It's a beauty to behold.
Check out the list below to find a shokupan bakery near you.
CAFE MOZART: 5301 Buford Highway, 770-936-8726; and other locations.
JOLI KOBE BAKERY & BISTRO: 5600 Roswell Road, 404-843-3257; 1545 Peachtree St., Suite 115, 404-870-0640. www.jolikobe.com.
WHITE WINDMILL BAKERY AND CAFÉ: 2550 Pleasant Hill Road, Suite 103, Duluth, 678-584-0000; and other locations.