Food: Bread Goes Upper Crust

Across the U.S., gourmet loaves are on the rise

Gone are the days when buying your daily bread simply meant tossing a cotton- soft white loaf into a grocery cart. More and more shoppers these days are trekking to local bakeries and specialty shops -- often braving long lines and empty bins -- in search of gourmet loaves of all sizes and shapes: rosemary, garlic and poppy wands with a crackling-hard crust; dense bricks dotted with specks of flax, sunflower and sesame seeds; onion sourdough baguettes; and mammoth 4-lb. pumpkin-like affairs made from live, wild cultures. "Bread is being rescued from oblivion," says Michael London, owner of Rock Hill Bakehouse...

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