A lesson from baking bread


Unless you can’t eat gluten,

you don’t need to bake your own bread.

It’s faster to go to the grocery store,

grab a loaf,

and bring it back home.



do people spend two hours,

or more,

of their time,

to bake bread?

As journalist and editor Erin Dahl puts it,

one reason is that: “(baking) bread, at least, gives us a moment of accomplishment” [ 1 ]


it gives us a moment where we can look at the work we did,

and the time we’ve put into it,

and be proud.

Both of ourselves,

of the loaf of bread we’re letting cool down on the counter top,

and of the smile it puts on the face of the loved one we just gave two thick slices to.


unless you’re a baker by trade,

or get paid for each loaf you pull out the oven,

you can’t feed yourself,

or a loved one,

only on “baking bread”.

That’s why troubles start right there.

At least,

for some amateur bakers.

When they have to leave their kitchen,

and go back where they actually get paid for their work;

at that place they call “the office”.

The same goes for casual woodworkers,

week-end mechanics,

evening software programmers,

and so on.

Once they’re back at “the office”,

they look at the work they left on their desk the day before,

and wish they were in their kitchen,



or else,


Cause they realize how big the amount of time they’ve put into their paid-work,

and how small the “token of pride they get from doing it” is.

Making them ask:

“How could I use my time otherwise? And not feel I’m wasting it? The same with my potential?”

* * *

When you compare them to paid jobs,

one of the reasons why people take on things like volunteer work,

or hobbies,

like “baking bread”,

doesn’t have much to do with the “work it calls for” itself.

Or how much time they put into it.

Or how much “dough” it adds in their bank account.

(Pun intended.)

The appeal of these “unpaid gigs”,

or the pull towards them,

is in their zero-dollar payoff (vf: récompense).


in the kick,

and the pride you and I get from making these gigs.

Even more so,

in the help,

or the smile it gives the person who gets to enjoy whatever we’ve “baked” that day.

Let it be a loaf of sourdough bread,

a repaired door on a cabinet,

a website,

or else.


imagine if you add these payoff’s to your list of “things to check before applying on a job”.

At least,

the next time you’re looking for one.

Do you think you’ll look for the same kind of “paid gig” as the one you have right now?

Or will you try to find a different one?

– – References – – – –

[ 1 ] Erin DAHL – Even in Paris, homemade sourdough is inevitable (www.grubstreet.com/2020/04/homemade-sourdough-in-paris.html)

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