In the Netflix mini-series based on Michael Pollan's book Cooked, a food scientist makes an interesting observation about bread. If given water and a bag of flour you could survive for weeks. If you combined the water and flour and made bread, you could survive indefinitely.
Bread has been a hot button issue for nearly two decades. Bread and the carbohydrates they contain have been villified by "low carb" diets. Gluten sensitivity and allergies have developed and have made bread dangerous to some people. Whole grains have been elevated to superfood status and then brought low again by the philosophies of Primal and Keto diets. I have no side to take in the politics of carbohydrates. I am not a dietician or a doctor and can speak very little about how people should incorporate nutrition in their lives. I do passionately believe in one thing: Bread is Beautiful.
Take a moment and recognize the alchemy of bread baking. A handful of flour, a little water, salt and time create something that is ten times as voluminous as the parts that created it. Bread is literally multiplying a few ingredients into something that can feed many. Every culture in the world has bread. Bread is the most accesible food. Literally grass and water can make a meal. Beautiful.
More than accesible, bread is satisfyingly delicious. We taste with our sense of smell as much as our taste buds (if not more). When you take a bite of fresh bread, the texture and flavor hits your tongue, but the aroma from all the air trapped inside the crumb of the bread hits your senses like a tidal wave. I take glorious pleasure in every bite of well made bread.
The key ingredient to great bread is unfortunately something we rarely have an abundance of: time. Mixing the ingredients takes very little time at all but the fermentation that follows (and indeed must follow) takes hours. Maybe you are disciplined enough to keep a bread starter alive and can reduce the fermentation time. Maybe you use instant yeast to speed the process but ultimately the dough must sit and the fermentation must be allowed to run its course. I recommend taking the time periodically to celebrate the glorious yet basic task of making your own bread.
Check out The Lexington School's own scratch made breads at the Deli Station. We've made multi-grain, rye, potato, sourdough and many more!
February Food Events: Super Wing Toss! Spirit Week Fun Grapefruit Celebration Kyushu, Japan Regional Cuisine