Getting a staple down right

I don't remember exactly when I started to bake bread consistently. I do remember that I was inspired to make a Moroccan bread called khobz, which is a kind of pita, after a trip I made once to Marrakech. That one was leavened with commercial yeast, and I vaguely remember making a version with cumin like the one I tried in Morocco. I ate that bread for some time, but it wasn't a permanent fixture in my household routine yet. A few years passed before I was regular with it.

Let me backtrack a bit and explain what I mean with "getting a staple down right". If you go back even just 100 years, there are foods you would not dare outsource. The staples - bread, yogurt, and even beers - would mostly just be made at home. If you didn't make it, at least there was a dedicated bakery that focused solely on a few products in the community.

Through the years, especially post industrialization, food became commodified along with everything else. The problem with commodified food, is that it is simply not the same product as an artisenal, carefully sourced food. Most importantly, the nutrition content is simply not the same. The modern store bought bread loaf is of especial concern.

I don't remember the source of this fact, it may be Michael Pollan or Marion Nestle, but until early last century, bread was strictly defined as a product having only 3 ingrediants: water, flour, salt. Common grovery store loaves are made with sometimes 20 ingredients or more, but it seems very few people are concerned about why this is the case. Just take the problem of diabetes type 2, and you can see why loaves enriched with sweeteners (HFC, or common sugar), spell disaster. Most are made with highly refined, bleached white flour. The issue with that, is that the germ has been removed during the milling process. The germ is the most nutritous component of the wheat. But, in the commodity food chain, this is extremely inconvenient because the organic compounds go rancid and spoil much faster. Shelf stability is critical for grocery stores to move the volume that they do. Yes it is almost always cheaper, but it is a loaf of poor nutritional quality.

I don't do everything for myself from scratch. I don't believe everyone really needs to. Except, in my view, the food staples. In the case of our home, that is bread, yogurt, bacon. And the list is expanding. So, follow me here, and refresh from time to time. Who knows, maybe yu will be inspired to start asserting your nutritional sovereignty. The ancient traditionl of sourdough is a great beginning.

A shot of a traditional home baked boule loaf, circa 2023