The more I bake, the more I realize that each loaf has a personality unto it’s own and no two loaves are alike. No matter what the process I use is; no matter how exact the grams I use, they always seem to come out just slightly different. One may be more dense, another more sour. Some bakers would argue that temperature has to do with it — that there is no controlling mother nature in that way. I can recall a friend saying about a loaf I made, “this bread isn’t for a side of soup…this bread is a meal from the earth.” There is my goal. Simplify bread for nutrition sake and for social consciousness. Bring nature to the forefront. And not in a hippy-dippy sort of way, but in a “we have the power to take control of the foods we eat and we can do so with Love!”
I think of bread as I think of people — constantly changing, evolving, with their own set of unique characteristics that make them who they are. It is this diversity which makes the world go round. Or might I say, the boule go round!
I came across an article of a group of grad students who seem to feel the same way I do about bread. It made me so happy to hear their take on the whole “gluten-free” epidemic. And yes, I realize the term epidemic may seem dramatic to some of you, but in reality, the word doesn’t have numbers attached to it and it is pretty darn appropriate. An epidemic is symbolic of something that is occurring in the now, at present. I’m super into the etiology of words, and epidemic happens to have a greek origin, meaning “upon or above people.” And to me, the thousands of people who feel the side effects from eating processed gluten have the right to call it an epidemic. I know that there is an attachment for many to believe that going “gluten free” is a fad diet, or a restriction that some use just to lose weight, or because “everybody’s doing it.” But trust me when I say, a gluten allergy is not fun for a person who really has one. It can be debilitating for many, but also a saving grace for those of us who feel the importance to raise awareness and find ways to break bread with eachother once again, gluten-free, slowly fermented, or otherwise.
Please click on the link to read all about how Washington State University is trying to come up with some scientific explanations for why bread has lost it’s way and how we can bring it back for the healthful sake of ourselves, our families, and society as a whole.
Jonathan McDowell of the Bread Lab says it best: “If you look at gluten as what holds bread together, and you look at bread as what holds our society together, what is ‘gluten-free bread,’ then? Is it not a symbol of our times?”
Yes, Mr. McDowell, Amen!