Most mornings I make a loaf of bread. When I say ‘make’ what I mean is put the right ingredients into the bread maker and press the right button.
So that everyone in our household can eat the bread it has to be wheat and dairy free. It has been a bit of a challenge to find a recipe that works but I have one now and generally speaking, it’s a great success.
It does have some quite unusual ingredients though and it got me to wondering why they’re there and if it would be easier to do without them.
The recipe includes vinegar which improves the texture of the dough and encourages the dough to rise as often gluten free breads don’t. Apparently a small amount of vinegar creates an acidic environment which the yeast loves but too much can kill the yeast.
The salt strengthens the dough and hold onto the carbon dioxide that the yeast produces which helps give the bread a good volume. Too much salt and the flavour is ruined.
The yeast produces the carbon dioxide by feeding on the sugar that is in the recipe. It is this carbon dioxide that makes the bread rise and its the caramelisation of the sugar that makes the brown crust. Too much sugar and the bread looks burnt and has a hard crust.
This set me to thinking that often we think to be a ‘good’ person we need to be less acidic, less salty and more sweet. Actually, using this bread analogy we need all the parts of us, we just need them in the right amounts. Without the vinegar and the salt my gluten free bread wouldn’t rise and would fall apart. With too much sugar it would be burnt and hard on the outside.
The characteristics that we see in ourselves that we think we need to get rid of perhaps don’t need to go at all. We might just need to adjust the amounts of each so that we work as a healthy whole of all our component parts.
I couldn’t talk about my bread making and not show you the finished loaf. I was tempted to substitute the photo for a perfect loaf (I do get them some days!) but I thought it was good to show to you this one -bumpy top and all.
Its not picture perfect but it still tastes great. A bit like life really.