Creating Your Own Recipe
I’ve made many loaves of bread since we last talked about bread. I’ve done all kinds of research, read blogs, and watched videos carefully to see how the experts do it. After about two dozen loaves of bread, I was especially proud of this particular loaf. I’m glad I made two of them. It surprised me because it’s the first loaf I’ve ever made that was my own recipe.
It’s an improvised high-fiber multi-grain bread, and I don’t know what the proportions of ingredients were. I know I wanted to use a lot of whole wheat flour and some wheat bran, so that told me it would need extra gluten. So I followed a basic recipe on the back of the gluten box, but it didn’t have all the things I wanted to put in my bread. So I added and subtracted. I put in some half-ground flaxseed and sunflower seeds. And I ground some barley and put that in. I eliminated some of the flour to compensate for those. And I might need to mention that I did knead this bread. I wanted to make sure, by getting my hands in it, that it was going to be nice and strong and elastic so it would hold bubbles.
The thing is, I think I’m now beginning to get into the Zen of breadmaking, and that involves a shift in thinking. Instead of slavishly following a recipe, I now have more confidence to do my own thing.
And so I guess the message is that you have to learn by:
- doing, then doing some more
- paying attention to the essentials, the basic principles
- doing it with your right brain as much as your left
- feeling it as you go
- responding to it
- not being afraid to fail
- throwing it out and starting again if you do
- not beating yourself up for mistakes
- being proud of your successes
I now see how this applies to learning anything creative. Having teachers helps tremendously. But at some point you have to create your own recipe.