Zen and the Art of Bread

cc by
with Poetic License, v1,

Grain is the egg.
Bread is the chicken.
Yeast, fire, and water.

(Path of the chicken)

Heat a low stone or tray.
300 if you can,
    250 C if you must.

Clear a table, clean the dishes,
    simplify the kitchen.
Take a shower, walk a dog,
    or meditate.

Set your starter, flour, razor blade,
    spatula or scrapper.
Flour a table space
    and a tiny paper on a peel.
Splash water on the lowest oven tray.


Fast: Remove dough from the cold,
    rest onto floured table,
    flip with floured hand and scrapper.
Tuck and pull the ball skin
    tight from four directions.
Place onto tiny paper,
    slice with blade,
    slide onto oven stone.
All in one minute.

Breathe. Note the time.

10 minutes at 250-300 C.
Heat from above and below.

(Path of the egg)

Two thirds of your starter, maybe 60 g,
    into now empty glass bowl.
Add 100 g whole rye, 200 g strong wheat,
    200 g whole grain, 10 g salt, 400 g water.
Mix and set aside.
Feed about 30 g whole rye and 30 g water
    to remaining 30 g of starter in jar.
Mix and set aside.

Set 225 C from below only.
Your bread should have risen like a balloon
    and requires over 40 minutes more.
The crust should be darker than lighter
    until the bottom taps like a drum.
Bake until perfect.

In the meantime, make coffee or tea.
Enjoy oats, spices, flax, and fruit.
Calm is a healthy body and mind.

Remove perfection from the oven.
Wrap in beautiful cloth and let cool.
Perhaps overnight.

An hour after mixing your dough,
    stretch, fold, turn,
    in four directions.
No new dry flour.
Wet hands only.
Repeat hourly roughly thrice more.

Put your starter and dough to sleep.
Bake again after several warm hours.
Or from cold in a day or two or three.

Art and science are found
    in time, temperature, and ratios.
Innummerable variations, ingredients
    and tools satisfy vanity and taste.
Whole rye is true religion.