21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
should be a best seller,
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This review is from: BREAD MATTERS: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own (Hardcover)
British bread is a nutritional, culinary, social and environmental mess - made from aggressively hybridised wheat that is grown in soils of diminishing natural fertility, sprayed with toxins to counter pests and diseases, milled in a way that robs it of the best part of its nutrients, fortified with just two minerals and two vitamins in a vain attempt to make good the damage, and made into bread using a cocktail of functional additives and a super-fast fermentation (based on greatly increased amounts of yeast), which inhibits assimilation of some of the remaining nutrients while causing digestive discomfort to many consumers.
Bread Matters p 53
First the diagnosis, then the therapy.
One of the reasons breadmaking is so satisfying is that it provides a balance between variation and repetition. The human body seems to need both the stimulation of different tasks and the mental relaxation produced by rhythmic repetition. Hand breadmaking has it all.
Bread Matters p 56
Salted and spiced with anecdote, Whitley writes with clarity about flour from the various cereals, their nutritional value, and their individual behaviour when we enter into the mysterious process whereby mixing water with flour motivates the yeasts to enable a fragrant and beautiful resurrection for our salvation. In Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Persig tinkers with his machine as a metaphor for psycho-spiritual equilibrium. So Whitley writes about bread, not simply as the staff of life, but as life itself.
There are recipes, but this is so much more than a practical recipe book, for the recipes seem woven into a narrative. First the paradise lost through industrial breadmaking, then the paradise we can regain. .
Norman Douglas believed that "All culinary tasks should be performed with reverential love ... The true cook (being) the only perfect blend of artist and philosopher" offering us "the choicest gift of God."
Bread is that gift. And Bread Matters is clearly a labour of love. It should sell like hot cakes