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No-Knead Philosophy

I have been thinking.  About our upcoming class.  About life in general.  I can’t deny it, I AM a thinker (and no, I have not hurt myself, …yet.)   Our next class is on No-Knead bread which opened up a whole new world of breadbaking!  It all started with Mark Bittman writing an article in the New York Times a few years ago about a gentlemen named Jim Lahey, who insisted that his method of bread making was so easy a 4 year-old (maybe it was a six-year old) could do it. This started a revolution in bread baking, let me tell you!  I found out about this by happenstance when I hooked up with my old friend Rick from New Jersey after many years (we originally met in London 30 years ago) and found out that he, too, was a bread baker.  So, I decided to do a class on no-knead last year, which, by the way, was a full success.

Where am I going with this?  Oh yes, it is the no-knead part that got me thinking.  Before this revolution, the general philosophy of bread was one of kneading, kneading, kneading!   It is a known fact and principle to live by that all good things require work.  But not only that, working the dough does have other advantages.  You could really get into that dough and let it all out!  All your frustrations, all your anger, all your disappointments…, just knead and slap that dough around to your heart’s content.  It’s great for the dough, because you are developing the gluten and it’s great for you because your are relieving stress!  And man,  do we all need something to relieve stress in our busy lives!!

speaking about hearts

Speaking about hearts.  I knitted this cute little heart the other day.  While I was working on it, I decided that I am going to set a date other than February 14 for Valentines Day.  Why does it have to be February 14?  I decidedly don’t like it when dates are being dictated by THEM (whoever THEY are) to ME.  So, I have decided that my personal Valentine’s Day will be on August 1st.  (Let me know if you want to join my Valentine’s rebellion!)

But back to the fact that kneading dough is a great stress reliever…  I have always maintained that the reason I am a fairly mellow person, is due to the fact that  I bake bread often, or knead bread often, to be more exact.  And I am supposing that there are a lot of us out there who are able to maintain our sanity through semi-weekly bread kneading sessions.  Can you see where I am going with this?  No?

Really?  But it’s so obvious…

Along comes this seemingly innocent  no-knead bread revolution which at first glance seems to be a great thing.  You toss your few ingredients in a bowl, add a pinch of yeast and let the whole shaggy mess sit for hours on end (about 8 hours). It’s great!  You don’t have to exert any energy and can just go about your business while time takes care of developing the gluten.  No work on your part involved.  No sore muscles, no workout. You just go and relax.

So, everyone jumps on the bandwagon.  No, wait, they are actually sprinting and pole vaulting onto the band wagon! (did I mention I think in pictures?)  Does anyone so much as stop for one tiny second to consider the consequences all this might have on America’s families and the fabric of society in general?  Did you  think about that, I ask you, before you signed up for this class?

Well, let me tell you my theory.  One of them is that this whole no-knead revolution will be the cause for the continuing decline of the work ethics of a whole nation.  Who wants to work when you can sit and relax, I ask you.  It will carry over from bread baking into other aspects of your life, I am sure of it.

But then there is my other theory. I can vividly see this scene playing out in courtrooms all over America.  Susi Homemaker, Molly Mormon and all those other ‘proper’ upstanding women we looked up to and emulated, will end up in court rooms all over America having been accused and  put on the stand pleading their “no-knead insanity defense” after they offed (annihilated) their entire families.

“Is it true that all this started when you abandoned your daily kneading habits and joined the no-knead bread revolution?”

“Yes, Your Honor, I cannot deny that a noticeable change came over me when I started baking no-knead breads.  I started feeling emotions I never felt and had no words in  my vocabulary to express, like anger and disappointment and frustration. Yes, frustration was a big one!  And all these emotions  just started piling up, and piling up, and  I don’t know what came over me. It just all exploded!”

I really don’t want to be held accountable for contributing to the downfall of society by teaching this class on February 16.  So, I implore you to make advance alternate plans for relieving your future stress level.  Like possibly signing-up for a Hula class?

Over and Out.

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