Because lately I bake mostly breads, I don’t have any story to accompany it. It’s a simple seed loaf, it’s delicious and easy. It doesn’t even require shaping as you use loaf pan.
So I wanted to share a few quotes from an article I read over a weekend “The secrets of the world’s happiest cities“. The title may suggest that it’s more about the happiest cities, when for me it was about what makes us happy. We all chase something better job, more money, more after work activities, nicer city to live in, cooler blog, name your thing and a funny thing is most of those things don’t make us happy. Yes, of course there is a standard of living that we need, but I’m talking about those extra things.
Most of the times I cycle to work. I’m not a good cyclist, I was always a coward and I still am, but I do it, because it’s the quickest way to get to work. Yes, sometimes it’s windy, sometimes it rains, but even then it’s ok, and yes, of course I will complain about it. When I try to talk somebody into cycling, I always struggle, it’s hard to put it into words, why on a rainy day you choose to cycle instead of waiting for a bus. But here it is, everything what I felt about cycling.
The longer the drive, the less happy people were.
Stutzer and Frey found that a person with a one-hour commute has to earn 40% more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office.
People who walked more were happier. The same is true of cycling (…) cyclists report feeling connected to the world around them in a way that is simply not possible in the sealed environment of a car, bus or train. Their journeys are both sensual and kinesthetic.
Why would travelling more slowly and using more effort offer more satisfaction than driving? Part of the answer exists in basic human physiology. We were born to move. Immobility is to the human body what rust is to the classic car. Stop moving long enough, and your muscles will atrophy. Bones will weaken. Blood will clot. You will find it harder to concentrate and solve problems. Immobility is not merely a state closer to death: it hastens it.”
I know you may need a car, train or bus to get to work, school, etc. It’s fine, but it’s just about those tiny decisions, that may seem making our life slightly more difficult, when indeed they make us happier. It’s actually the same with a bread, yes, you can buy it, but the best one is home-made, fresh from the oven and the satisfaction from making something, that seems difficult is priceless.
Apparently another important fact we need to be connected to community. I could work on it more, for now sharing my thoughts on the internet needs to be enough.
As much as we complain about other people, there is nothing worse for mental health than a social desert. The more connected we are to family and community, the less likely we are to experience heart attacks, strokes, cancer and depression. Connected people sleep better at night. They live longer. They consistently report being happier.
Simple seed loaf
For 9x28cm loaf pan
- 500g Polish flour krupczatka or semolina flour or strong white flour
- 3 Tbsp flax seeds
- 3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup oat brans
- 3/4 Tbsp salt
- 2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 8g instant yeast
- 1/2 l water
Mix flour, seeds, oat brans, salt, sugar and yeast together. Add lukewarm water and knead a dough for around 10 minutes. It will be sticky, so it’s better to use a mixer.
Put the dough into the lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a cling film and leave to rest for an hour.
Punch the dough to deflate and knead it for a minute.
Place it into the greased loaf pan (9x28cm) and leave it for 40-50 minutes.
Place it in an oven preheated to 230°C.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden.
I used Polish flour called krupczatka, it’s a plain flour just slightly coarser than standard flour, coarser doesn’t mean wholemeal. You can replace it with semolina flour or just strong white flour.