I’ve been thinking about this post for probably a year now – but that’s the funny thing about depression, grief and trauma – you can be motivated, feel creative, but be stuck. Things that took little effort – take much more effort. But you know what? Your girl is still here trying and so today – I’m letting it rip – and processing live as I type this some of the uncut thoughts I have every time I watch this show.
The Proof is in the Pudding (or dough) – literally. Something that comes up pretty often in the show is the concept of “proofing”
In short – not only is life hard but bread is too! It’s possible to under-proof, have the proper proof, and over-proof. So let’s dive into that.
As a non-baker, I’ve simplified this down a bit by saying that under-proofing dough is basically not waiting long enough for the natural chemistry of fermentation to occur. All that kneading and folding wakes up the yeast inside and helps gluten to form. Who knew? I basically thought people just kneaded their dough, slapped it in the oven, and magic happened. But alas, it’s possible to deprive your dough of enough resting time beforehand to be ready to bake and rise once it hits the proper cooking temperature.
Over-proofing, on the other hand, means too much fermentation has occurred and there is no more air left to help the aspiring-baked good to expand so it has no strength left once it hits the oven.
Last but not least, apparently perfect dough is possible, and you’ll know it by how well it rises in the oven and maintains it’s structure when you cut into it.
So why does this matter?
If you’ve been following me for a while you might know that I love the deeper meaning of just about every topic. I think it’s fascinating. And as a person of faith – it’s exciting to see how even the smallest thing is significant.
So here is my thought: what if people are dough and this can help us see them differently? Maybe with empathy dare I say? Track with me for a minute.
What if some people just haven’t had enough “breathing time”. They’ve gone through life and yeah maybe a few situations have shaped them but they are always going and never seem to come up for air. I don’t think many of us can maintain that for too long because rest is needed even for dough. How can you ever grow past your normal, every day limitations if you don’t give yourself the time to develop?
On the other hand what if some people just can’t seem to get a break? Life has poked them over and over and over and eventually they give up trying to spring back up. Maybe they’ve experienced times of growth in their life, but hardships have lasted longer than the energy they have stored up. Perhaps these people are even unpleasant and sour to be around and you find it hard to understand where they are coming from.
I think the fun part of looking through this lens is just the idea that this happens every time dough is needed (or should I say KNEADED). Every loaf of bread, every cake, each biscuit, you name it has the potential to be right on target or off base in one way or another depending on what happened to it before the oven exposed how well the process of making the dough went. It’s kind of brilliant to think – these things can fail without having to experience any of the emotions a human being does as well.
Where do you think you are in the proof? Do you see the people in your life a bit differently if you apply this way of thinking?