I used to bake a lot more bread than I do now. Even with a bread machine, bread making is a chore. I remember joining a “food co-op” back in the late sixties, a place where various grains and organic produce were sold in bulk. I recall carrying home pound sacks of cracked wheat, coarse wheat, and unbleached white flour, as well as garbanzo beans (chick peas), whole wheat spaghetti, goat’s milk cheese and tofu. Sometimes members sold their own creations right in the rented storefront, everything from organic eggs to stained glass windows and artwork. Oftentimes an oil painting could be swapped for a 50-pound sack of rye flour or a brief visit by an enlightened co-op plumber to fix a leaky sink when lazy landlords wouldn’t
In those days it seemed everyone was anxious to help everyone else in exchange for being helped in return.
At any rate, just because I used to bake a lot more bread than I do now doesn’t mean I don’t like good, wholesome bread from time to time, even though it usually costs more in a grocery store. The other day I discovered a new (new to me, at least) Pepperidge Farm Natural Whole Grain bread called GERMAN DARK WHEAT that is absolutely outstanding. Without a doubt it comes closest to bringing to mind those dark grained co-op-flavored days of yesteryear, and the friendly communal-kitchen-rich atmosphere when bread was baking in almost every oven and everyone was anxious to help everyone else in exchange for being helped in return.