Zen and the Art of Bread

cc by Alexander Edward Genaud
or Poetic License

(Path of the chicken)

Set a low stone at the highest heat,
300 if you can, 250 C if you must.

Clean the dishes, clear a table, simplify the kitchen,
take a shower, walk the dog, or meditate.

Set out starter, flour, razor blade, spatula, and scrapper.
Flour a tiny paper on a small bord and flour the table.
Set water in a metal sauce pan at the bottom of the oven.


Fast: Remove cold dough bowl from fridge,
turn onto floured table.
flip with floured hand and scrapper,
tuck and pull the ball skin tight from four angles,
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 starter, maybe 60 g,
into now empty glass bowl.
100 g whole rye, 200 g strong wheat, 200 g whole grain
to glass bowl, 10 g salt, 400 g water,
mix and set to the side.
Add maybe 30 g whole rye and 30 g water
to maybe 30 g of hungry starter in jar,
mix and set to the side.

Set 225 C from below only.
The bread should have risen like a balloon
and will require over 40 minutes more.
The bread should be darker than lighter
and the bottom must tap like a drum.
Bake until perfect.

In the meantime, make coffee or tea.
Enjoy oats, spices, flax, and fruit.
Make your body and mind healthy and calm.

When perfect, remove the bread from the oven.
Wrap in beautiful cloth and let cool completely,
perhaps overnight.

About an hour after mixing the new dough,
stretch the dough, fold, turn, repeat four times.
No new dry flour, wet hands only.
Set to the side, and repeat roughly hourly, four times.
Put starter and dough in the fridge.

Repeat the cycle in eight hours at room temperature,
or from cold in a day or two or three.
The art and science are in time, temperature, and ratios.
The innummerable variations, ingredients and tools are for taste.
Whole rye is true religion.

Zen and the Art of Bread
cc by Alexander Edward Genaud
or Poetic License

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