The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Addictive Bread

GSnyde's picture

Addictive Bread

I went to a seminar today about the interrelationship of stress and alcohol and aging (I only have a problem with one of those).  It got me to thinking about impulsive and compulsive behaviors.  When I got home, I heated up some delicious white bean soup, and sliced some of the BBA Poilane-style Miche I'd made a few weeks ago, and frozen and thawed.  Toasted with a little butter, it was a perfect complement to the soup.  In fact it was totally swoon-worthy.  When that was consumed, I found I needed more of the Miche toast, so I sliced more, toasted it and ate it with peanut butter and jam for dessert (these are large slices).  Then, I wanted more.  I managed to grab my wrist at the last moment and reach for some mandarin oranges instead.

This doesn't happen to me with bread. There are some foods that I find it hard to stop eating until they're gone (or, at least, that I tend to overeat if my self-discipline is impaired): Reese's peanut butter cups, potato chips, bacon, roasted peanuts, some sweet baked goods when super-fresh.  These are mostly fatty, and/or salty and/or sweet things (though really good mandarin oranges are healthy and addictive). 

I'm not sure how to deal with a Miche addiction.  Most of the things I listed above (except bacon and mandarin oranges) we just don't buy.  We deal with the lust by strapping on the metaphoric chastity belt at the grocery (we all know not to shop when hungry).  

I do not want to stop baking Miche (though I could quit any time...really).  Nor do I want to solve this problem by learning to bake bad Miche.

Do I need an intervention?  Should I join Bread Eater's Anonymous?

Hi!  My name is Glenn and I have a Miche problem.

occidental's picture

I couldn't think of a better problem to have.  (I say don't stop)  A baguette, batard or boule or some sort will come along and fill the void and you'll be back to square one.

SylviaH's picture

Unless you start sticking your finger down your throat ;O


flournwater's picture

Hi, my name isn't important, but I have a chicken heart, gizzard problem.  Broil ten pounds of that stuff and just try to pull me away.  It's even better with buttered sourdough and a pilsner.

But I'm in recovery.  Lost thirty pounds ....

Hope I don't fall off the wagon  ;>}

dmsnyder's picture

Stop going to seminars.


GSnyde's picture

"They say you shouldn't drink and drive, so I gave up driving".

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and increase less addictive flours in your loaves? 

ehanner's picture

I know you are joking about all of this but there is an issue with the nutritional content of bread. I suspect that most people could get all the carbs they need from vegetables and a small amount of fruits. Consuming copious amounts of wheat flours which quickly turn to sugar is an addiction many of us share. My wife and daughter are both doing without any grains and faring quite well managing their weight.

Personally I have always thought it was the butter I was addicted to!


GSnyde's picture


The seriousness of my posts ranges from 0% to 85%.  This one's around 20%.

I would worry about my carb intake, but doctors seem to agree that worry is a source of stress and I try to avoid stress.

"Copious amounts" is way more than I consume.  I have been known to throw bread away (gasp!) rather than eat too much.

The serious part of my post is an inquiry as to whether certain breads are so enjoyable that one loses control.  For me, a great Miche--especially toasted-- has a quality of perfect wheatiness that makes it hard to stop eating--whether with butter, cheese, peanut butter, or just dipped in good soup.

As Occa points out, it would be worse to be addicted to white bread.  

I am testing my self-control by not making another batch of Txfarmer's brioche pecan buns.  So far, it's working.



clazar123's picture

But we'll all have to bring the loaf that causes our problems and analyse them for cause. Maybe we can come up with a healthier loaf-maybe a mandarin orange baguette?

On the real side-2 years ago I decided I needed a new focus and decided I wanted to learn how to make bread. At the same time I also decided I wanted to have a  healthier lifestyle and lose some weight. These goals actually didn't conflict-now I know how to make delicious bread and really appreciate it, since I don't eat tons of it. I have lost weight! Of course, I am enabling all my co-workers to eat it.

So enjoy the bread as you take your walk! But lose the butter!

fminparis's picture

Addiction?  Mallomars - that's where it's at, with milk of course.

rayel's picture

Hi Glenn,  I got a kick out of your grabbing your wrist, then selecting an alternative, better food. The image that comes to mind is the Peter Sellers' character, in the black and white movie, How I learned to love the bomb.(part of the title) who, wheel chair bound, describes how his country had developed the dooms day bomb. Don't know if you saw this grim comedy. The demented doctor was grabbing his wrist in an attempt to stop its saluting.

I strongly wish I could grab my wrist in the many compulsive encounters with food. I am amazed how easily my brain trumps that safeguard, as it does when food shopping while saited. It's a lot like trying to play chess, with no other player, both sides fairly evaluated. Sooner than later I do take sides, usually prefering the one with the slightest advantage. That is how my usually impaired self discipline works.

I like oranges, but my endless eating is really hard to understand. I've been thinking about light hand weights kept nearby as an alternative, but then think about my raw vegetable diversions, and how they almost work, but more often act as fillers between the more attractive stuff. Ray

GSnyde's picture

I need to watch that movie again soon.


OldWoodenSpoon's picture

you simply must stop seeking it amidst this crowd of enablers! 

Once I returned to baking in earnest I had to take up my daily walk with renewed vigor and dedication before my legs could not hold me up any longer.  Now I'm trying to lose the wheelbarrow...


joyfulbaker's picture

Here's a rather long comment by our local guru, Dr. John McDougall, who would totally approve of your miche addiction, especially when you add peanut butter and jam!  But if you want to start a chapter of B.E.A., keep me posted.


Uncontrollable cravings are caused by the Western diet’s deficiency of healthy sugars. People chew through platefuls of sugar (carbohydrate)-free beef, pork, chicken, shellfish, fish, and cheese without becoming satisfied. Then at the end of the meal they find a sugar and fat-filled dessert, a calorie-bomb of pleasure, a pie, an ice cream, or a cake. The reward is like the fix for a deprived drug addict. By consuming starch-based meals, however, you will be provided carbohydrate satisfaction with each
and every bite, so that at the end of the meal you are in complete control.  Fighting your inborn love for sugar is as senseless
as fighting your hunger drive; you are destined to lose. My recommendation is to eat first and foremost the natural sugars in starches, vegetables, and fruits. For additional pleasure, add some simple sugars. The most taste for the least sugar is accomplished by placing the sweetener on the surface of the food where the tip of the tongue can taste it directly. My experience has been that most people will enjoy their bowl of morning oatmeal even more with a teaspoon of brown sugar on top rather than plain. That spoonful of pleasure is only 16 additional calories. The same enhanced enjoyment comes from a drizzle of maple syrup over pancakes, molasses mixed into baked beans, or a little barbecue sauce poured over potatoes. Simply put, for long-term compliance and a pleasure-filled life, your meals must taste great.