It’s not about the bread

I made bread for Easter. It was my assignment. I could have bought some but I have a psychotic need to make things difficult for myself in many ways, most of them not involving cooking at all. In reality making bread is not all that hard but it’s a process, and it’s baking, so there’s the automatic stress that is involved with anything that requires precision ingredients, timing, and cooking, or, more particularly, baking. Grandma did it without measuring and probably without a clock, just sayin’.

But that’s not the point. The Cook’s Complicated, er, Illustrated instructions call for letting the dough rise “loosely covered with plastic wrap.” Or in an oiled bowl “tightly covered with plastic wrap.” And “inside a clean plastic garbage bag” at various stages of the complex procedure. What the hell did Grandma do before there was plastic? Why can’t people just put a bowl over it, as I did, or use these silicone cover things that are infinitely reusable? OK, most people don’t have these which is too bad because they are awesome, but there are plenty of other ways to cover rising dough and I am not sure why we need to use anything disposable when making bread. And while I realize that not using a few scraps of plastic wrap is not going to solve the world’s plastic waste problem, you have to start at some point because this is where we already are and it ain’t getting better. (This website is positively sobering but also hopeful.)

As it happened, the baguette turned out to be tiny but there was enough other food at Easter dinner that no one mentioned it. Grandma would have.




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