On my fourth attempt, I managed to bake a perfectly edible bread which was appreciated by my wife and a year-old daughter. The bread disappeared – at least in its current form – from this world within two days.
Whilst munching on a slice of bread with peanut butter, I tried to recall how I know the taste of this bread. You see, the ingredients weren’t dissimilar to those listed on a loaf of M&S bread: wholewheat flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water. Yet, the taste was distinctively different, yet so desperately familiar.
Then the bulb moment occurred: in my childhood, in the Soviet city of Leningrad (now St Petersburg), you would find small loaves of bread called ‘Doctorskii’ (‘a Doctor’s bread’). It was delicious: soft, not salty, quite filling, yet not making you feel heavy.
By accident, that’s what I managed to bake. I used organic stone-milled wholewheat flour (which retains all the nutrients and has no nasty additives), 1.5 times less salt and twice less sugar than stated in the recipe. White sugar was also replaced with brown variety. The result is the bread which tastes healthy and is healthy and indeed should really be called ‘bread’ rather than ‘doctor’s bread’.
It is a sad fact of life in 21st century that simple words change their meaning significantly, yet many of us don’t even notice that until we stop and read the ingredients. Often we are confronted with a very long list of ingredients with some requiring you to check the dictionary. Then we realise that we’d better stay away from a particular product even if its name sounds familiar. Like bread.