How to eat an elephant

Sesame Spelt - the new Zorro CutAfter years of longing to work for yourself, if, and when, it finally happens you might find that on occasion, you actually miss the boss you didn't like or respect all those years. You may find it helpful to tap into someone else's experience or expertise, or more likely, you're happy for someone else to make the call on a difficult decision.

With no-one to advise or take responsibility for your decisions, you'll find yourself devising little guidelines or rules of thumb to fall back on in times of uncertainty. My favourite is one I read many years ago (source long forgotten) which says that setting up a business or creating something new can be hugely daunting at the start. A bit like being faced with eating an elephant. 

Making alternative grain bread with slow fermented methods is an example we faced many years ago. When we first started it seemed incredibly difficult. The size of the task almost put us off. The lack of guidance in books and blogs was demoralising.

A dose of stubbornness and lots of patience meant we just started chipping away at it. Made a small batch, every week, recording what we'd done and what the results were. We just started nibbling away at the problem and just kept going. 

After a while, this starts to become a way of working, an outlook on life, rather than just a method for solving a problem or creating something new. Everything is in beta, everything can be improved, there is always a better way.

So in the last week of baking in the bakery that has been home (literally…) for the last 8 years, a new batch of white spelt flour was behaving differently to normal and not rising the way we wanted. So we began experimenting mid week and by the weekend we had a new "Zorro Cut" across the top of the loaf which we baked with for Cowbridge. Best we've ever baked.

So if, as non-meat eaters, we're ever in the unlikely scenario of having to eat an elephant, we'll know the only way to to do it.

Bit by bit.