Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A word about bread (but it's never just one word with me)

When you think of cooking at home, from scratch, one of the first things that comes to mind is baking your own bread. However, keen readers of this blog (all two of you) will observe that I bought bread, rather than made it, and already mentioned this as an example of something that it was better for me to buy than make. Let's look at that in more detail.

Some people don't even eat bread anymore, though this trend has mostly passed--right about when Robert Atkins did. I'm not laughing or even smirking. But it should be noted that if everyone on this planet ate the amount of protein that the Atkins diet advocated, we would run out of land, water, fish and animals in about five minutes. No, that isn't very well researched, but I know that this planet can not support six billion people eating meat three times a day. It's already struggling mightily. (And that's not even considering the monetary side of things--people expect meat to be cheap--it shouldn't be! The affordability of meat--high quality, muscle meat--hides a lot of unpleasant truths.) We gotta try to eat from lower on the food chain.

Anyway, I love carbs and think they are part of a healthy diet, particularly in the form of whole grains. And while I can roll out my own pasta and make tortillas and other basic stuff, I don't think I can bake good bread. I don't have the skills, ingredients or equipment to do it right. Plus, is heating my oven up to high when my AC is already working full-time just to keep this place at 81 degrees a very pleasant or environmentally sound idea?

Central Market sells a million different kinds of breads that are not wrapped, so the only packaging used is a paper bag. I thought about just chucking it in my shopping bag, but then I was like, have some damn dignity. I think that unless I get a designated bread bag, I don't need my unwashable food mingling with everything else. I think one paper bag is ok.

The bread I bought is called ten-grain, and it is so good. I highly recommend it--it is chewy and not coarse, and has a really nice and mild flavor, despite the hippy-high grain count. I would have to buy TEN different grains to get the nutritional benefits of this one loaf. No fun.

Just to share, here is one way that I have enjoyed this bread this week. I made a fried egg, put it on a piece of bread and topped the whole thing with leftover tomato sauce that I made last week. Sounds kind of weird, but it was delicious. I will give my recipe for easy tomato sauce at another time, but it's basically just olive oil, tomatoes, onions, garlic and in this case, rosemary, because I have been on a big kick with it lately and there is a shrub of it growing in front of my neighbor's apartment. It makes everything taste like it comes from a fancy restaurant.

Here is my bread working hard for me. Tasty!

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