A Stir The Pots Post

A Bolted Bread Rant

by | Mar 6, 2018 | Bread, News

Donald Trump wants to "make America great again." Okay, while brilliant at cheesy cheerleads and insults, his primary gift seems to be earning the title as this nation's worst president. Ever! Yes, he's a sorry mess of a human being. And as a leader, he's a pathetic masquerade. But as predictable as he's become for lying, his actions speak one truth; returning us to a particular aspect of our past even if not all that glorious. How? His embrace of McDonald's points to something connected to our history. All those gooey buns he chews with relish reflect an actuality about years foregone, namely the love for white bread among "the rich."

Back in 1800s America, if you had money, your bread preference was the color of milk and soft as cream. Brown bread was for the rest of us. Okay, now let's jump forward to the present. Sure, we have a thin-skinned, bone-headed blowhard for president. But we are also seeing an imaginative (and chewy) Trump-alternative to "making America great again." Wouldn't you know but it's foodies that lead the way. Sorta. I'm talking about the baking world's embrace of home-grown American flours and grains. Along with that interest has come a revival of interest in bread popular here "way back when." Namely, baking with grains used by many of our ancestors, whether living in crowded urban hovels or on endless fabled plains. 

The resurgence of these grains has included an interest in "bolted flour," a process that once allowed the plebeians (folks like me and many of youse!) to enjoy a whiter bread by sifting out "the bran" (but leaving "the germ) to make "whitish flour." The result is it allows those of us who enjoy lighter bread to indulge without losing an ounce of key nutritional qualities. 

That's a long way of sharing my latest efforts to give "bolted" a try. Here's what I discovered quickly; adapting these grains and flours for home-baking isn't always easy. Which goes back to principles that make Trump's presence in the White House instructive. How? Because just believing that something is true because it's in your mind will get you in a heap of trouble. Any experienced baker loses such idiotic assumptions very quickly.

First, you have to understand what you're working with – whether it's your political team or your flour. Then it's understanding the laws under which you're operating – whether they are constitutional or about the ambient conditions in which you're baking. And then you have to be able to adapt to whatever arises, whether it's operating with panache regardless if the FBI is about to pounce or your bolted flour isn't so easy to translate to your dough.

Hey, whoever promised it would be easy? Nobody. And it ain't (as someone seems to be learning by the minute or Tweet). But when you get it right, it's heaven. And if you don't get it right (and pull a Drumph!), well, hopefully, it won't buy you a ticket to Sing Sing. For the rest of us, keep trying. Here's a loaf of mine that turned out way better than anything ever served at Mar a Lago.  


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