I’m well aware of the endless rhetoric of simple carbohydrates being a sworn enemy. Or that odd notion of “empty” calories. But seriously it’s bread. And it is delicious.
Bread is a historically significant thing, regardless of its perceived health benefit. And what about our spiritual and cultural health? These have got to count for something.
The last supper, loaves and fishes, unleavened bread in Exodus…Can bread really be all bad? Making bread is so enjoyable. Most of the work is completely hands off. The bowl of rising dough is just sitting on the counter doing its thing.
And it is so simple. Yeast, flour, water, salt.
Unlike a lot of baking, measuring isn’t really required. A teaspoon or so of yeast, two cups of water, around five cups of bread flour. I never use a measuring cup just mix in the flour until the dough is knead-able (still moist, but not so sticky it gums up your hands).
Crusty, crunchy. Chewy, soft.
The loaves I made today are made comme ca. I added ½ cup ground flaxseeds and ¼ chia seeds in place of some of the bread flour. Ground flaxseeds and chia add fiber and protein to the bread. Or substitute part of the flour with quinoa, oat, almond or other specialty flours. Or not.
Bread and water really does make a delightful dinner. Crusty hot bread right out of the oven. Crush a garlic clove ( homegrown garlic!) and put it in a little dish and then sprinkle some coarse salt on it. Dab the bread in the salty garlic and the hot bread melts it and it is spicy and delicious. No olive oil, vinegar or complicated seasonings; compound butter…though those are takes on the concept. Bread; and water to drink.
I have written about food blogging before, or fogging as I like to think of it. And I’m concerned that I will be interpreted here as glorifying food and elevating it to something that is annoyingly pretentious with my previous description of melting garlic and so forth. But it really is tasty.
Enough bread to equal the caloric value of a serving of protein, a salad and a scoop of brown rice. But how much more indulgent to just eat the bread and skip the variety once in awhile. Perhaps it is eating a meal’s worth of bread in addition to dinner in which bread becomes villainized. It makes me think of this joke…
A patient is at a doctor’s appointment and the doctor tells him, “Don’t drink alcohol and don’t smoke. Don’t eat meat or sugar. Don’t eat simple carbohydrates and avoid processed food of any kind. Exercise daily, go to sleep early and avoid dairy.”
The patient asks, “And will this help me live a long time?”
The doctor replies, “No. It will just feel like a long time.”