Perhaps this war will make it simpler for us to go back to some of the old ways we knew before we came over to this land and made the Big Money. Perhaps, even, we will remember how to make good bread again.
It does not cost much. It is pleasant: one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with peace, and the house filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells. But it takes a lot of time. If you can find that, the rest is easy. And if you cannot rightly find it, make it, for probably there is no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.
–How to Cook a Wolf (1942) by M.F.K. Fisher
Thank you, Chelsey, for organizing a bread-baking class for the Oklahoma Food Co-op community. Pat at Harvestyme Bread gave us a primer on baking artisan loaves. We each got to take home still-warm whole-wheat bread and breakfast bread (with apples, dates, and raisins. yum!). And I finally learned how to knead! I’ve never quite understood. I still knead some practice (harhar!), but at least now I have a little confidence. I can see how, once I know what I’m doing, kneading might be an “almost hypnotic business,” as Fisher calls it.
Pat with his proofed breakfast bread dough.
We’re working the dough and shaping it into nice, rustic loaves.
Pat: “That’s what ‘artisan’ is—it’s handcrafted.”
If you are reluctant to knead, or just want to try something different, check out Shauna’s post on learning to make artisan bread in 5 minutes a day.