Saturday 11 December 2021

To bread, it is, just express yourself without bounds

A bread to realise

There are many liberation struggles going on around the world, but there is one I was not aware of until yesterday evening, the liberation of the loaf is the battle cry of bread and the art of baking what the United Artists for Africa mistakenly suggested was God turning stones to bread because that never happened.

Having bought takeaway Togolese beans (èwà Àgànyìn), which is mashed black-eyed beans with a red chilli sauce, the only adequate staple to go with it is Agége bread (a soft, dense loaf of bread), which I soon learnt, I could not get anywhere in Cape Town that I decided to bake my own.

All pans run free

Asking Alexa to find a recipe on YouTube was a waste of time even with my putting on a thick Nigerian accent as it offered either Gigi or Gay for Agege, it was just better to type it in. Having gotten a good idea of what to do, I acquired the ingredients and utensils and set to baking bread, my very first time.

After all I had done, one thing was missing, a lid for my loaf pan. Apparently, you can get every choice loaf pan for baking bread, in any material you might desire including silicone that takes heat up to 230, but you cannot get for the want of trying in stores, specialist outlets, or online, a loaf pan with a cover or a lid.

Perseverance in lack

Then, I improvised, I wrapped the loaf pan in heavy-duty foil, which kept the loaf in shape, but I had to have it baking in the oven for thrice the recommended time because the heat was not getting to the loaf as it would have if there were just a lid. You have to ask, what happened to loaf pan lids or why no one around here seems to desire to bake bread with the loaf liberally expressing itself beyond the mould?

Then again, what I might not get on the retail market most definitely is in the professional bakeries, because typical bread for toast is moulded in an almost square cross-section to a rectangular length. I might have an alternative, using disposable aluminium food trays with cardboard covers. It might suffice until I accidentally find a loaf pan that invited a lid companion to the party, else, it is to England where the freedom of the loaf is still a subject of debate rather than of right.

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