On Regenerative Baking
September 26, 2022
Regenerative baking is what I’m calling the thing I’m doing, at least until I come up with a better name. I see bits and pieces of it happening everywhere: in bakeries, at flour mills, and yes – even on TikTok.
Regenerative baking is baking for a more joyful, sustainable, livable world.
One where we’ve prevented the worst effects of climate change, and are adapting to a hotter reality together by sharing ideas and food with sweet abandon. It’s a world where systems that bankrupt farmers and starve overfed people have stumbled, while kinder ways are sneaking in.
It’s a world we can have if we reshape our relationship to the planet. We all enter into that relationship several times a day when we eat. Bakers do so even more often, with every cookie stamped, every oven switched on, every loaf sliced and shared among friends. If we want it to be, each muffin and layer cake we bake can be a vote for a better future. All it takes is keeping some ideas in mind.
This is the framework I’ve come up with, and am going to try to follow when I bake. You’re welcome to join me if you’d like to. And please tell me what you think and share your thoughts, because my ideas are a work in progress.
Some principles. Regenerative baking....
Embraces the future pantry
using biodiverse flours, unusual fruits, climate-adapted spices, and other ingredients that are building climate resilience in our food system and better health in our lives
Leans into plant-based ingredients
as much as possible, and sources dairy, eggs, and other animal products from regenerative farms
Preserves at-risk ingredients like vanilla, spices, and chocolate
by buying them from companies helping them adapt to a warming world of more scattershot growing conditions
Contributes to a vibrant regional food economy
by buying ingredients from small- and medium-sized farms, grocery stores, and shops
Is energy conscious and waste conscious
basically making the most of what we have – like the generations of home bakers who came before us