This may look like chocolate-frosted cake, but it’s actually a beer bread, one of the types of bread you’ll read about in our Bread Glossary. You can also read our review of this delicious Guinness Bread, made with the world-famous Irish stout. You can have it for lunch with a bottle of Guinness, or have it for breakfast—hopefully with a nice cup of tea. Photo by Claire Freierman.
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In 1912, Otto Frederick Rohwedder (1880-1960) first conceived of a machine that would revolutionize the baking industry: an automatic bread slicer. A prosperous jeweler in St. Joseph, Missouri, he must have been tired of manually slicing bread. He sold his three jewelry stores to raise money to work on the invention, endured setbacks, and had to assemble more financing by working at other jobs while he pursued his dream. Initially, bakeries didn’t warm to the machine; they feared that pre-sliced bread was more likely to go stale. Rohwedder went back to the drawing board and created an even better machine: one that wrapped the loaf right after it was sliced. On July 7, 1928, bread was sliced and wrapped by a machine for the first time in history. Finally, people could enjoy their bread and toast in attractive, even slices—and consumers were thrilled. Rohwedder’s invention precipitated the phrase, “better than sliced bread,” and he is known as “the father of sliced bread.” The next time you take a slice from that bagged loaf, give a nod to Otto Rohwedder. And take this Bread Trivia Quiz to learn more facts about the staff of life.