Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Staff of Life

I love bread.

Living in Italy for a couple of years can really sour one on the soft, gooey tasteless loaves that like the shelves of the grocery store.  Roman Meal?  Any self-suspecting gladiator would fall on their own gladius before eating it.  Wonder Bread?  Yea, verily.  A wonder that anyone would eat it.  Pepperidge Farm?  They're growing bread on a farm?  I picture a bucolic scene of cement truck-sized mixers making thousands of loaves at a time, with endless ovens that churn out uniform bricks of boredom.  Q.E.D.

So we make most of our own bread.  Good stuff, freshly ground wheat and all.  This loaf I made a few days ago with a recipe given to us by our friend Gennaro.

My bread's ingredients are:

Flour, water, yeast, and salt.

The ingredients in Wonder Bread are:

Whole wheat flour, water, wheat gluten,
 high fructose corn syrup, soybean oil,
salt, molasses, yeast, mono and diglycerides,
 exthoxylated mono and diglycerides, 
sodium stearoyl lactylate, calcium iodate,
 calcium dioxide, datem, calcium sulfate, vinegar,
 yeast nutrient (ammonium sulfate),
 extracts of malted barley and corn,
 dicalcium phosphate, diammonium phosphate,
 calcium propionate (to retain freshness).

Simplicity is becoming more and more important to me as I get older.  I would submit that somewhere along the line we lost what it means to be a loaf of bread, and we ended up with a cube of chemicals that tastes like nothing.  Note the fourth ingredient in Wonder Bread is HFCS.  And we wonder why our population is obese...we need to put sweetners in bread to disguise the fact that it contains diammonium phosphate.  Ammonia and phosphate?  Aren't those fertilizers?

Maybe, just maybe, we should take out the stuff that isn't bread.  Flour, salt, yeast, and water is all it takes.  Everything else just confuses the issue.

Respectfully submitted,



Silbs said...

Why the high fructose stuff? It creates insulin resistance.

Mark Ritz said...

Hear, hear! Well said.

canoelover said...

Hell, why use "flour conditioners?" Is it somehow out of condition?

People need to trust their guts and stop trusting the industrial food complex.

Mona said...

You are so hilarious. I just started crying because I was laughing so hard at your bread description. It looks delicious and I will try the recipe.