15 February 2005

Link: Bread Snobbery? Arrogant Baker? You be the judge!

"I love to make bread too, but I make the bread, I do not delegate that very
pleasant, calming, almost therapeutic task to a machine. Bread machines were
devised by the Japanese, a culture that has no historic connection to real

Real bread, of course, is made by hand--it is "artisinal" in the
best sense of that word. Bread making becomes a craft, one works the dough with
one's hands--and arms, and shoulders. You punch the dough, massage it, roll it
under your palms. You look in after it, as it quietly sits and rises. You work
your life and the life of the bread together, so you can be there when it needs
you, to punch it down, to shape it, to bake it.
I have never eaten bread
made from a bread machine. I do not want to. Bread is too closely connected to
the daily life of humans to let a machine do it, and do such a poor job of
it--of bread making--at that.
Do yourself a favor. Make bread by hand. Touch
the dough. Make it live for you. Just throwing flour and yeast and water into a
machine and then eating the results is more than I can stand to contemplate." --

This comment was left on The food blog : On her first entry in Culinary Epiphanies . She then actually publishes an entry devoted to the comment here , and readers also comment. I myself reacted to this comment. There are too many arrogant bastards in the world.

If you come upon this entry while searching for Arrogant Bastard Ale - you'll find the official website here.

Here is how I responded:

Posted by Amber @ 02/14/2005 02:30 PM PST
Ron's example of "baking snobbery"
is ridiculous. I don't agree with his "breadophile" logic.

I am a
student learning pastry/baking. I have had past experiences in the baking &
culinary industry.

I would like to state a few points:

First ,
most people who purchase "artisan" breads - can't tell infant if it was indeed
frozen bake-off, meaning the bakery /grocery bought the dough from a factory
that was made & pre formed-- gasp -- by automated machines. And the
bakery/grocer proofed & baked it.

Less than 50% of bakeries are
"scratch" - using all their own formulas, scaling by hand etc.

With that
being said what really is baking? Is it the thought and time - whether automated
or not- that goes into creating something? Is it Being able to control the
ingredients that go into your product?

Who is the better person -
someone who enjoys the end product, or someone who is casting stones at those
who can evolve with technology or modern equipment.

I have made bread by
hand, & tasted bread machine bread. And guess what ? The chemical reactions
& fermentation stay the same. The end result, is bread. The fact that home
bread baking in any form, continues to exist is really great.

IF Ron
wants to go after someone - go after the giant corporations - adding chemicals
to their product - like Potassium Bromate[which has banned internationally
except for the U.S, & that is carcinogenic(causes cancer).

--- Amber
(culinary novice)


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