One of the websites that I read on a regular basis is Lifehacker is all about “hacking” your life, by finding tips, tricks, and cheats to increase productivity, money, or time. While a lot of it is above and beyond my skill or desire, every once in awhile I find a tip that saves me money while providing a product that is better than a more expensive or time consuming alternative. Just over a week ago Lifehacker linked to a similar website, The article in question was about a one minute ciabatta. Essentially it is a simple bread recipe that takes approximately one minute to prep. Granted, if you are new to the kitchen like I am, it is more likely to be five or six minutes, but it is still barely longer than a commercial break. This is all that you need:

* 4 cups of all-purpose flour
* 2 cups of warm water
* 1 teaspoon of salt
* 1/4 teaspoon of granulated yeast

All you do is mix the four ingredients and let them sit for 8 hours. That means you can leave it overnight or prep it in the morning for your evening meal. After 8 hours you literally pour the dough out, pop it in the oven for 25 minutes, and you are done (check the link for more detail) If you'd like, you can get all fancy and add some herbs to the mixture or to the top of the bread once it is on the pan (I did Basil/Oregeno), but it isn't necessary for deliciousness.
Now, I was skeptical at first, because all good things take forever to make, no? I thought that because it was a simple recipe it couldn't possibly taste good. I was wrong. It is a delicious bread that seems like it would take a lot more effort to create. My wife loves it as well. There really is nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread. The only reason I had never done it on a regular basis is because I always thought it would be more effort than it is worth. Not with this bread, not with this recipe. I'm not one to spend a lot of time in the kitchen if I don't have to, so this recipe was perfect for me. Even if you are a kitchen master, this bread tastes so fantastic you'll wonder why anyone would bother spending more time.
Reflecting on this bread, it made me think that our society often over complicates things. Bread is just flour, yeast, water and salt. Simple ingredients. But when you look at a package of bread from the store, there are dozens of ingredients and you can't even pronounce half of them. Not only is that just plain unnecessary, it is also unhealthy. This realization made me wonder what else we overcomplicate. Perhaps we are overcomplicating our finances. Spend less than you earn. Seems simple enough, so why should I bother with things I can't even pronounce?

Image by jytyl

About Alan Schram

Alan Schram writes about personal finance and his encounters with it in his everyday life. Alan is recently married and is looking to save money on expenses and reduce his debts.