There’s something about baking bread that I didn’t find therapeutic for the longest time, not until I discovered the Jim Lahey method and The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François.
Discovering those two resources opened up a portal of opportunity, took the fear out of baking and made me more adventurous. And to this day, I haven’t looked back.
10 kilos and a couple of weeks – that’s how long it took us to work our way through a huge bag of flour. The largest I’ve ever bought in my entire life. And I got it before lockdown, for #bread but also for pancakes and #plantainbread. It lasted all of 14 days
And so, alongside our prayers, we’re baking. We’re kneading, and pulling, stretching and pushing, layering, buttering, we’re making quickbreads with deft hands, baking soda and light work:
- The Art of Quickbreads
- Banana bread – the ultimate in quick breads
- Apple and blueberry quickbread
- Banana bread revisited
- Past Thanksgiving, still great pumpkin bread
- Gluten-free chestnut and almond bread
And next we have the flatbreads, easy peasy, folly …..*shrugs*. You get what I mean? Flat breads are amazing – quite often they don’t require yeast, and are ready in a few minutes. Here are some of my favourites:
- This Grilled Flatbread from when I had a full on Meyer Lemon obsession. I still do but… And use whatever cheese you have at home. I’m not suggesting you go get some warm burrata 🙂
- And Plantain roti from @TheGroundnut. A lifetime fave. Add some whole cumin, blitzed green chilies and cilantro stems and you have a banger
- There’s also whole-wheat pita which goes amazingly well with nutty red pepper sauces like Muhammara
And then the loaves, attempts at unity, at cohesiveness, at mastery and they appear in all sorts of shapes and sizes, flavours and textures from
- Like baguettes, these are French style Pain a l’Ancienne
- Make some pumpkin maple rolls, or use potatoes or carrots – cooked down, pureed, or beets if you like. Here is a template
- Fancy a giant, flowery designed cinnamon roll, look no further than this Meyer Lemon Russian Rose Loaf
- Want to leave bread uncorrupted by the silver of a knife, then this pullapart loaf is just the thing for you
- Happen to have some Guinness and want to toast St Paddy? These Guinness (or malt, sub tamarind, or gingerbeer or regular hops and malt :)) rolls say it all
- And there was this stunner of a spelt chia seed loaf from aeons ago
And there’s lots more, undocumented loaves, seated with love and care and more still to come because in these times, the comfort that comes from the rise of the yeast, the process of the knead – the stretch the fold and the warmth of bread baking provide everything we need to soothe our souls, so bake when you can – let’s break bread
Next: X ways to eat bread. What are you baking? How are you finding calm in the midst of it all?