Sunday, October 16, 2011

Baking versus Banking; World Bread Day


Today is "World Bread Day". Not because some official institution like the UN or a Global Bakers Association (if there would be such a thing) says it is, but simply because someone somewhere decided it would be a good idea to bake a bread, blog about it and send off a picture to a central hub where we can all see and share what we have baked. The idea caught on and voilà; at the end of today, Sunday the 16th of October 2011, all participants will see what they have baked in honor of that greatest of all foods; our daily bread!

Here is The BreadLab's contribution: a Pain aux Céréales! The recipe, very loosely based on Erick Kayser's famous loaf, can be found here!

As you probably have noticed, regardless of where you are in the world, this year's "World Bread Day" is coinciding with heated protests in the U.S., Europe and many countries in the world against the way our government leaders are handling the financial crisis that's weighing on all our shoulders for way too long already without anything essential being changed in the (banking) system that caused it. Governments pump tax payer's money into banks and - in Europe - in entire countries, to keep them from going bust, dragging the rest of the world with them.


Bread baking is a straightforward thing to do. Water and flour, together with some time and heat, is all you need to produce a tasty and wholesome loaf. It's been done that way since the Egyptians, and nothing much has changed since then.

Banking used to be just as straightforward: You had some valuables you didn't want to carry around with you when, for instance, on the road. So there was the wonderful option to trade in your valuables for a piece of worthless paper (go ahead, rob me!), go where you needed to go, and then change it back at the local branch of your "bank" to get (most of) your valuables back and go about your business.

Today's situation is a far cry from how it all started. All around the globe, money (in essence still the same worthless piece of paper it used to be) is now being used to make more money and any sort of logical compensation seems to have vanished; nowadays there are even financial institutions that bet (for instance) on the fall of Greece just to make their "free money".


Honest bakeries were omnipresent not too long ago. Every morning our communities would wake up to the smell of bread, freshly baked just a few steps away from home. Most of those bakeries have disappeared and are replaced by multinationals that have somehow convinced us we need to spend less time on feeding ourselves properly and more time on making them richer than they already are. After all; money makes the world go round! Wagon loads of industrially produced cheap breads that taste as lifeless as the multinationals producing it, are shipped to the supermarkets.

Bread is too important in our lives to give up for money though. There will be a time in our world we wonder what on earth we were thinking to achieve, making money with money. There will however never, ever, be a time we will be wondering why on earth we were ever eating bread...

It is bread that makes the world go round!

Bake Bread for World Bread Day 2011

Happy World Bread Day; Join the Bread Revolution and support your local bakers by NOT buying at the supermarkets! Or bake your own of course!


  1. Well said! Thank you for participating in World Bread Day 2011.

  2. thank you Zorra! I'm looking forward for the round up pictures

  3. Your Pain aux Céréales looks great. I made a note of all the seeds that make up the "Céréales"-part :o)

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing the story of your first Tarte Tatin. I love how food triggers memories past, some of which we have long forgotten about. I have to say I envy your first "supervision-free" trip at the tender age of only 16. I had to wait a few more years for that. I still remember the chocolate covered waffles ("gauffres") I had in Lisbon :o)

    On a side note, I wish I knew about the Bread Day thing. I actually baked my multi-grain rolls again on Sunday :o) Next year, I guess!

  4. Oh, and thanks for the link to that YouTube video. I have yet to check it out but I've never heard of Cees Holtkamp (sorry) so I look forward to seeing him bake.
    When I'm in Amsterdam, I'll make sure I check out the bakery you recommended (probably won't be until sometime next year).

  5. ah, there is the answer! make sure to let me know when you are coming this way!

    have a good week and happy baking!