The Staff of Strife

This may be my last entry…

My bread maker always give me mixed feelings. On the one hand it is a convenient way to make bread from scratch with none of the random crap that store bought bread has in it; on the other it is robbing me of one of the things in which I feel real pleasure – making bread by hand.

I love the journey that baking bread takes you on. From the measuring of the component parts, to the tactile kneading of the dough and the deliriously primal smell the yeast imparts as it comes to life; to the final glorious loaf, it’s crust cracking and straining as it cools; there is a really manliness to the process. I’m not saying that women won’t find a femininity to it – that side exists too.

Bread is a primal and essential human experience. We break bread with our fellows, we know which side our bread is buttered and that we will never reach the upper crust, each household has a breadwinner who keeps us above the breadline and that person is the best thing since sliced bread. This large number of bread related words and phrases is no mistake – bread is as fundamental to us now as it was in our journey from the primitive to the modern.

And so it is, as I look at the contraption that provides us with our daily bread, that I feel a slight disconnect, a reluctant withdrawal if you will, that the bread is home made but not hand made. Time, rather than saving labour, is the main consideration and in our modern high-paced world saved time will always out score the pride of production.

Thanks for reading, now grab some yeast and get baking!

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