Just kidding. I just can't pay for it.
Just kidding. Kind of, but the loaves of bread I want cost between $7 and $9 because they're naturally leavened and carefully made with freshly milled local grains. I know they're supposed to fill you up more so you end up eating less, but I am a superwoman, and I stomach my bread like it.
Thankfully, as a superwoman, I also have great self-restraint and a wicked smart essence, and I am learning to make a loaf of bread last for three people (two tall, one small) for at least five days. But it means I supplement. With other locally made bread, but not necessarily naturally leavened and made with freshly milled local grains.
Contrary to my subject line, my problem is that I can find bread, plenty of bread, too much bread. Because I live in Portland, OR. I want to try it all, for my own interests, and buy it on repeat for the bakers', and this leaves me so squished inside my budget that I spill out of it.
This seems worth it to me, though. Making the bread seems worth it to the circle of Portland bakers who put their entire creative being into the small-scale production of bread. From personal experience, eating the bread has proven worth it.
There are claims about the health benefits of this kind of bread. I'm hungry for a little more research on, say, the pre and probiotic benefits of sourdough, but there's something sensical and dramatic about lactic acid overthrowing phytic acid and freeing the nutrients, so I'm leaning toward accepting it as true. Even though I want to dig through NCBI a little on my own to find out how sound these conclusions are.
But I do believe in the bread, because I've tasted it. And in the bakers, because they're real. They're also localizing a process that has long been anything but local, and bringing together different threads of the community and connecting them, and creating a market for the farmers who can now be justified in growing grains for local and regional distribution.
I won't say these things are the ultimate good, but they are culturally significant. Economically significant too, especially in light of how the 2008 economic crisis spurred people like Tom Hunton of Camas Country Mill to mill his grains rather than outsource, and to sell close to home.
In fact, they may just be all-around significant. It's an entire movement, with practitioners and advocates across the country and internationally. It's people, wanting to incorporate something of "old ways" while also pushing new frontiers. A part of a cycle, but a cycle that builds on itself and is different every time, even while being the same.
And what of the commercially produced and widely-consumed store-bought bread? I care about that phenomenon too. Where it's been and where it's going and what is the future of bread anyway?
I'm not a superwoman anymore. I'm Evaristo Baschenis, and this boy, who knows how to portion his bread serving, is my inspiration.