In the ’70s, it was dudes with tools. In the aughts, it was dudes with flannel and axes. Now, apparently, sourdough bread is the latest accessory men are using to woo potential dates. Men’s Health reports that bearded—generally bearded, always with leather aprons—dudes are baking up boules and Instagramming their perfectly browned crusts. (Though whether these Romeos of rye are actually meeting their next loaf-loving lover through these posts is anyone’s guess.)
As a very amateur sourdough bread baker myself, I understand the impulse to ’gram your latest success. (I’m guilty of it.) Bread-baking is fraught with perils, the road to the perfect pain de campagne paved with sad blobs that didn’t rise or loaves that you didn’t score deeply enough. That’s partially behind the triumphant bread photos these guys can’t resist sharing, according to a design director/aspiring Instagram bread baker named Matt Goold who told Men’s Health: “In terms of how [the posting] pertains to the male ego, I think it comes from a desire to brag on any win, small or large. I don’t feel like this is too small or too cheesy, because it took real effort.”
This trend is best epitomized by the account @boyswithbread, who in the account profile says the men featured there are “just looking for Mr. Rye.” (He also “likes big buns and he cannot lie.”) Hashtags #breadporn and #realbread are also repositories of hunky dudes in deep Vs who just happen to make a mean rosemary-olive loaf.
As far as “a look” goes, hipster bread baker isn’t the worst. At least these dudes actually seem to be baking the bread, unlike some of the ax-wielding hipsters of five years ago (I can tell the only knots you tie are your manbun and your sneaker laces, Derek). I’m not naive; meeting a guy who knows how to bake bread doesn’t guarantee that he’s patient, careful, or good with his hands. Pretty much all it guarantees is that a date would involve some tasty carbs, which is good enough for a lot of people in this fickle dating climate. Read more about these rye Romeos over at Men’s Health.