You can't make everything from scratch

...but you can sure try!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

On bread

I didn't update this past week, because I was off in New York City, enjoying an all-too-brief return to civilization, instead of sitting at home cooking. But I came across the following in Near A Thousand Tables by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, and thought it was sufficiently relevant to my last post to be worth excerpting here:

"[W]hat is so special about bread? In terms of nutrition, digestibility, durability, ease of transport or storage, versatility and appeal for texture or flavour, the balance of advantages and disadvantages, compared with other potentially equivalent foods, seems nicely poised. Yet the trouble, time and technical expertise which have to be invested in successful baking are enormous. Professional bakers seem to have emerged early in every bread-eating culture. The many hobbyists who make bread at home, in conditions resembling those of early agrarian society, without exact means of measuring quantities, temperatures and timings, know how easily the process can go wrong, and how exact the baker's judgment has to be" (p. 97).


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