A Quote on Baking Bread

If all goes according to plan, on Friday I’ll have a recipe and video for 100% whole wheat bread that my carb-loving, ‘Why don’t we just use white flour for everything?’ husband enjoys. In the meantime, here’s a quote on baking bread, from a cookbook by Ada Lou Roberts. (If you are at all serious about baking bread, you should probably read, if not own, her cookbook A New Book of Favorite Breads from Rose Lane Farm.)

‘A fascinating little book, Cottage Economy by William Cobbett of England…contains a vigorous sermon urging laboring-class people to take care of their baking at home for reasons of both economy and health. He states flatly that, “Every woman, high or low, ought to know how to make bread. If she do not, she is unworthy of trust and confidence, and, indeed, a mere burden upon the community! Yet, it is a sad thing that many women seem to know nothing about bread other than the part which belongs to its consumption.” Mr. Cobbett was a large landownder and, to put his beliefs into action, he always asked a prospective tenant if his wife could bake. If she could not, there was no chance of her husband being hired. Mr. Cobbett figured that not only would a baking wife be worth a pound or two more to the family in savings, but that the husband would be worth more to him for, being better nourished, he would be able to do more and better work.’

Breads and Coffee Cakes with Homemade Starters by Ada Lou Roberts