Making bread

The District of Columbia and surrounding area is digging out from a pair of blizzards the likes of which have not seen around here in living memory.

Bread was one of the first commodities to disappear — this is a well-known phenomenon, even for modest snows — and the snowfall prevented trucks from restocking. We, however, did not do without. (Indeed, I think we may have had too much, but that’s a problem for another blog.)

In short, I had a nice hand-me-down bread maker and made five two-pound loaves over the course of the blizzards. My recipe uses bread flour, water, powdered milk, wheat gluten, white sugar, salt, oil and yeast.

Water comes from the tap. The flour, milk, sugar and salt come from paper or cardboard packaging. The wheat gluten comes packaged in plastic film within a cardboard box; I suppose I could do without it. The yeast — a bulk package, normally for commercial bakers; I’ve had it for ages in the fridge, transfered to a glass jar — came in a mylar-foil brick, like mass-market coffee. Oil comes in a plastic bottle, though I’m looking to start with canned oil after I’m done.

Really not too much plastic per loaf. Sorry I can’t say the same about calories!

Categorized as Food

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. I’m glad that I moved to a land with no snow and lots of bread. Bread is a big part of Gozitan culture and it’s available without packaging everywhere – delivered daily to your door – at the vegetable hawkers – from any of the dozens of small family run bakeries – in every grocery shop

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