Sunday, 1 April 2007

Give us today our daily bread

There is something extraordinarily soothing and therapeutic about baking one's own bread...
I have recently discovered a really easy recipe which yields the most delicious, light and 'more-ish' bread, and with which the kids like to join me in mixing, kneeding, and crafting all sorts of interesting shapes for baking.
But bread baking can be a frustrating and sometimes tedious process too. The mixing is messy, sticky, and ugly. The kneeding is exhausting - a bit like an intensive specialised work-out for the biceps - but essential for the dough to take shape, and to soften, and crucial for all those incredibly basic ingredients to come together. And then, there's the wait, the PROVING... And after the wait, more waiting...But the longer the wait, the bigger the dough...the lighter the consistency...the better the result.
And then, eventually, after molding the dough into whatever shape takes your fancy, the baking can begin. But you have to get the heat just right though - not too hot, but hot enough - before that tempting, enticing, delicious aroma starts to ooze out of the oven, and spread throughout the whole house...into every room, and even into the neighbourhood. Hmmmmmm......
Now finally, the comfort eating can begin!! It is a good reward, to reap the fruit of one's labours! It makes the abundant spreading of real butter on the still warm, soft, delicious bread completely and utterly justifiable.

This whole bread-making process is wonderful at a deeper level too, for it is a helpful analogy of what Christian living can sometimes be like...But there are so many parallels to draw out here that I'm not sure where to begin!! So, I guess I'll let you read between the lines of this little 'parable' for yourselves. And if you take nothing else from this, learn to WAIT on Him: for "those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength"...

8 comments:

  1. Thanks Rach, you are right, so many rich connections to reflect on.

    Mainly I am thinking, I knew there was a good reason i bought Debs a bread maker machine :)

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  2. mmmmm..., somehow, making it from scratch with my bare hands is actually even more satisfying, I find! I used to own a bread machine, but actually couldn't be bothered with it, and gave it away!!

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  3. Rachel, I've read this post a couple of times... it makes me feel warm inside. :) Yes, much to ponder. I especially liked,

    "But the longer the wait, the bigger the dough...the lighter the consistency...the better the result."

    Would you consider sharing your recipe? :)

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  4. I love making homemade bread. Have you tried using the dough to make pizza? That's good fun too. Especially if you have a whole heap of toppings and each person can pick what they want on their own pizza.

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  5. Miriam, here is the recipe: I found it in a kid's cookery book...
    (hope you're ok with british measurements!)
    1 sachet easy blend yeast
    1 1/2 lb strong white/wholemeal flour
    3/4 pint warm water
    1 tsp salt
    2 tsp sunflower oil
    Mix all ingredients up together
    knead for approx 10 mins
    cover loosely and leave to proove in a warm place for about 40 mins
    punch air out
    put in bread tin or make a loaf shape
    leave to proove for another 30 mins
    bake in oven (220 degrees C) for betw 10 and 25 mins depending on size of loaf!
    There you have it...nothing particularly earth shattering, but it does seem to work, for me :o)

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  6. Debs: yes I have made pizza with this dough and it's just Yummy!!!! Time consuming but well worth the effort; the kids love it! I just swapped the sunflower oil for olive oil to give it a slightly more mediterranean taste...

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  7. Thank you! I think I can make the translation! It does look nice and simple...I like that. Good for a beginning bread-maker like me. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  8. you're welcome! Enjoy, and let me know how you get on...

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