Eco Family Life. Right Here. Right Now. Be The Change.
A wonderful mix of excitement and calm filled the house on our baking morning. First, the recipe book, ‘Baking Bread With Children’ by Warren Lee Cohen, filled with songs and blessings for breadmaking. My small girl plumped for ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’ repeatedly, at intervals throughout the baking. We measure, mixed, waited and kneaded at the table with the back doors open, and the sky treated us to the full range of weather. We had sun, wind and rain to bless our Spelt Harvest Bread. Zesting the orange was a new experience altogether for the little one, and enthusiasm for this created a wonderfully warm citrus aroma that filled the house all day. Amateur bakers we are, it’s official! The yeast didn’t froth up quite enough – not warm enough I suspect, and we baked it too hot and too quickly, I also suspect, as the crust was hard and inside the bread was a little doughy in places. But the Great British Bake Off this isn’t, so we live and learn to bake another day.
What I loved most about baking this Lammas Loaf was the waiting, the patience, the quiet sense of expectation we had with each phase of the process. In such stark contrast to our all-too-usual trek to the shops to buy a machine-made loaf, we slowed right down and had time to enjoy the anticipation of the next stage. It all felt so right and natural. Watching the yeast froth up (sort of); adding the flour and gradually creating the dough; kneading and kneading and singing and singing; waiting for it to rise, as if by magic, under a damp tea towel; shaping and plaiting and waiting for more rising… until the final wait at the oven door, as the warmth and smell told us fresh baked bread was almost ready to taste. And taste we did, quietly, outside, with the sun breaking through the clouds just in time. Delicious. Thank you sun, wind and rain!