Personal site of journalist, baker, and storyteller Tony Ganzer.
Category: The Baking Journalist
The Baking Journalist project and forthcoming book offer bite-sized thoughts on issues of journalism and society through videos and essays. It combines my vocation as a journalist and my amateur bread-baking, while hopefully contributing something positive to the commons.
Whether you come along for the discussion, or just a recipe: welcome to The Baking Journalist.
This post is about a side of home bread baking that I’ve not spoken to many people about: cost.
If you dip into the bread baking section of social media you’ll be amazed by the artisan works of edible art. Professionals and amateurs alike post photos of loaves beautifully decorated with ivy patterns or artistic folds; videos show time-lapse views of skilled dough shaping and loaf preparation.
I appreciate those skills, and continue to try to learn them, but this post isn’t about that. This post is about home baking loaves of sandwich bread to support a family, and how much that costs, with probably more detail than is necessary.
My backstory and detailed cost breakdown will follow, but here’s the point:
Baking loaves of wide-pan wheat-white-oat bread myself cost us up to $3.80, lasting a week and a little longer.
Buying bread ran us $3.57 per week, but could be up to $5.57 without cheap bread options. (I’ll explain.)
I’ve been a journalist for about 15 years, working in the US, Germany, and Switzerland, with stops in Oslo, Cairo, Prague, and more. But after I graduated from college with a journalism degree, I didn’t know exactly which direction I would head. I got a big break filling in for a reporter in Olympia, WA, and afterwards had a chance to be freelancer. But in between reporting gigs I needed something to pay for food, and gas…so I became a baker. Here’s a short story of me being a bread baker’s assistant:
In this episode, I tell the story of what happened trying to report at the pyramids a year after the revolution, and a story of charity right after we left. I also try to make Egyptian Fino bread, which I ate nearly every morning in Cairo. And thank you to all of the wonderful Egyptians who told me the proper pronunciation is “fee-no” not “fine-oh!”
I didn’t want to leave my recording gear in a public bathroom by the pyramids, but I didn’t think I had a choice. After a chance encounter with a Swiss-Egyptian man in Zurich, I ended up on a week-long reporting trip in Cairo in 2012. Hamid was going to show me his Cairo, and talk about how his native country had changed since the revolution that led to the exit of Hosni Mubarak, and a new chapter in Egypt’s rich history. We traveled to Giza for an interview, and security wouldn’t let me through with my gear. They thought I was a TV guy, and thus needed an expensive permit.
After the Irish Gingerbread video with a story from my reporting in Ireland, I really wanted to offer a story from my brief time in Cairo in 2012, one that isn’t in the reporting itself. In short, I’ll explain why I ended up leaving my audio equipment with a bathroom attendant at the pyramids. (Interested to hear more, right?!)
Strengthening ties between the public, the press, and law enforcement
Prepared remarks for the Rocky River Citizen Police Academy April 16, 2019 Rocky River, Ohio
Mayor Bobst, Chief Stillman, Academy Graduates, Family and Neighbors,
Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you on such a great day for our community.
Your commitment to this program is an investment in and celebration of civic life. You can choose to exercise citizenship in many ways, be it through politics, or faith-based outreach, or philanthropy, or through a multi-week program like this—demystifying police work a little, providing a space for education and discussion about some of the serious challenges our society faces, and more broadly encouraging communication and community.