The Quest for Healthy Bread

I’m sure I know what you’re thinking. Healthy bread? Impossible. Who does she think she is! Well guys, the reality is that the bread that we’re buying from stores tastes nothing like what bread really tastes like. There are sugars and preservatives and dangerous things added to mass produced bread products that can cause IBS, bloating and stomach ache. It’s possible that the massive surge in gluten allergies in the united states is due in large part to these exact additives. People aren’t allergic to gluten, their allergic to the chemicals that are used to make the process of creating real gluten easier and faster.

I’ve been making my own bread both by hand and in a bread maker for the last 6 months or so. Aside from breads I buy in a dish at a restaurant or the occasional bagel from the
store bakery every bit of gluten that I eat has been made at home. I thought that I was doing my best, that a loaf of bread needed eggs and milk and yeast and all of the ingredients that we were adding to the bread machine. But dudes, I was totally wrong. Michael Pollan’s documentary series Cooked on Netflix changed the way I will look at bread forever. He said that bread only need be made with three ingredients: flour, water and salt.  First I felt discouraged and then I pulled up my bootstraps and took action.

The first order of business was finding a flour mill that was close enough not to give me guilt on transport but organic and small enough to be freshly milled. I went with Montana Flour & Grains and ordered 10 lbs. of whole wheat. My starter was alive in only days and all of my tips on making it and everything afterwards was from The Kitchn. This blog is seriously one of the best for learning how to live from scratch, I highly recommend checking it out. The hardest part for me was turning my starter into bountiful dough that actually rose. I spent hours and hours multiple days in the last month or so tending to bread Bread 3 copydough that never rose. I pulled hard horrible rocks out of the oven and lamented about my failure.

BUT YOU GUYS! Today I finally cut into a crusty loaf of sourdough that had airy bubbles inside and a rich, sour flavor. I was so proud, now I can’t believe how much bread that I’ve eaten today because it is unbelievable delicious. I’m pondering on the thought that putting this much effort, failure and excitement into these loaves of bread makes them taste that much better. I think we owe it to ourselves to feel this feeling. Not just the deliciousness of the bread but the feeling of hard work blossoming into accomplishment.

Say you set a goal that seems too far off after assessing your current skill level. If someone has accomplished this goal in the past, then you’re capable of doing it too. Sure, there are prodigies that have an innate ability to carry out certain tasks with poetic ease but true prodigies are rare. In reality, with diligent study any human being can accomplish the same as any other. We’re all equal, it just depends if we believe in ourselves enough to keep trying. If the base of our existence is to be our best human selves that very truth lays out the groundwork to say that we’re capable of anything that we put our resources (mind, body & spirit) into.

“If you don’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else!?” -RuPaul

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