Just when you think making your own bread can’t get any better, here comes proof from Mexico that eating bread has yet another benefit.
Apparently the tradition there is that when you experience trauma – a stressful situation, getting bad news, an accident – you’re advised to eat “un bolillo p'al susto" — which translates to "a roll for the fright" — a custom rooted in the advice of grandmothers. Even gastroenterologists are saying there is science to back up the recommendation.
On that basis, with the world living in an almost permanent state of stress, we should all be eating far more bread than we already do.
Absolutely, say us home bakers. Not only is kneading dough and producing your own artisan bread a deeply calming, mindful experience which benefits our mental health, it also takes you away from all the horrific additives and preservatives that are in mass-manufactured bread and which feature so prominently in news coverage at the moment.
Add to that the range of tastes, flavours and textures that you can create using easily obtainable store cupboard ingredients – nuts, spices, herbs, even chocolate and beer – and the arguments for home breadmaking become overwhelming.
As those who attend my classes learn, it takes just minutes to knock up a loaf of bread. All the work is done by nature itself while you get on with other jobs – going out with the kids, pottering in the garden, walking the dog or getting the shopping in.
So there really is no excuse to start making your own. My classes will tell you everything you need to know. And you can’t argue with hundreds of years of Mexican grandmothers.