Because artisan formulations don’t include preservatives, these breads don’t last more than a few days on the counter. A challenge artisan bakers face, especially in a recession, is convincing retail customers to buy a bread that is more expensive and might go stale before they use it all. Companion Baking Co., St. Louis, MO, and Grand Central Bakery, Seattle, WA, are both educating consumers on how to get the most from their breads.

Josh Allen, owner, Companion Baking, teamed up with a local chef to show food bloggers several ways to use artisan bread. They made four dishes with one loaf of bread to show people how to avoid wasting it. The company also posts recommendations on its website.

Grand Central Bakery educates by printing recommendations on the bread’s packaging and hosting cooking classes to show potential customers how to use an entire loaf before it stales. Gillian Allen-White, general manager, said she believes that because of this education and American consumers’ ever-maturing palates, the bread’s price point is becoming less of an issue.