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3 Takeaways from Daily Bread Baking

Y’all, I’ve been on a bread-making adventure and I’m taking you with me for a few minutes. What do you picture or think about when you read the words “daily bread”?

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This is not a trick question. This came up as one of the many things I’ve pondered. The answer began as a bible verse, then took shape as a 4 ingredient homemade bread recipe, proofed, and then baked into a magical artisan loaf. Keep reading, it gets better.

Something has been nudging me to make bread recently. A friend and I were talking about making bread and that same friend went to the extent to share a simple recipe and Dutch oven so I could give it a go. It was something I was sure would pass the time with my 7-year-old.

Easy. Messy. Teaches patience. And delicious when done. We’re in.

So we made a loaf. And then we made another loaf. And then we realized we had friends with birthdays and family who love bread, so we made more loaves. We started making it a part of our daily routine to prep, proof, and make a loaf of bread. If you are lucky, the recipe is shared at the bottom of this article.

 

Who knew that this cracklin’ crispy perfection would imprint an integral lesson that my daughter and I needed as we start the new school year? On top of making mouths melt and the whole dang house smell good, we took 3 big takeaways from our daily bread-making that we thought would be helpful to share with you.

Before I get too carried away, I’d like to give credit where the original credit is due. I pondered the verse in the Lord’s prayer, “Give us this day, our daily bread”. And like a cow chewing cud, for weeks I was thinking about our daily portions.

When you become captivated by something new nudging at you,  hints of that thing start popping up everywhere. The pastor at church mentions it in the Sunday sermon. You drive by a billboard that has the words bold typed like it was designed for you to see. (It was actually, but that’s another article. #geotagging)

I started taking note of my daily portion.

The portion of work we take on. The portions we eat. The portions of media we watch. The portion of people we listen to. Our daily portion is rather impressive when you take inventory of all the different portions we experience.

What is it though that we really need to survive? Beyond surviving what is it that can make us thrive in our day to day? Distraction and busyness seem to be doing the opposite to our souls.

Didn’t think daily breadmaking could do much about that. Did ya?

What we found in our sprint to making daily bread was this;

Daily bread establishes a routine.
Daily bread connects the family.
Daily bread sustains you.

Establishes routine.

As mentioned above, the 3 part process of making bread is not only a time-consuming routine in itself, it challenges you to build whatever you had planned to do around your baking schedule. Try baking loaves each day for a sprint of days and see how much your life begins to revolve around this newfound hobby.

Connects the family. 

Daily bread-making brings you and your family together. Whether it is in the process of making it or sharing it around the table together – The connections that happen between the baking and breaking of bread go back thousands of years in time.

Sustains you.

Don’t get it twisted, I’ve had to take this week off of eating bread because it got a little wild in the waistline after the kick-off of bread week. Thankfully, we are blessed with more than we need and bread is a bonus treat to our daily lives. I’d like to highlight the fact that a single loaf of bread each day is really more than what we need. It sustains my daughter and me, plus any friends or family that drop by.

Do you have more than enough, exactly what you need, or are you struggling?

Establishing a routine, being connected with your family, and sustaining a fulfilling life should be our primary goals, right? It sounds easy enough but not so easy when we try.

This act of making bread has become a simple enrichment to our lives. Making bread may not be your thing, and that is okay. It has provided a platform for us to bless our bellies and bless others with a delicious surprise.

The encouragement I leave with you is still the same. Find a new routine that gets the family involved. Make it something worth pursuing and see how the fulfillment in your life will evolve.

Happy bread making!

Local Pulse Staff Writer, Makenna Curtis, Beginner Bread Baker

Artisan Crusty Bread, No Knead

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tbl spoon of kosher salt, not table salt
1/2 tbl spoon dry yeast, active dry or highly active dry work best
2 – 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water. *Gradual pour*

Method

1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt and yeast. Stir in water using a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy/sticky but cohesive dough. Do not overwork the dough. The less you “work” it, the more soft, fluffy air pockets will form.

2. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough sit at room temperature for 8-24 hours*. The dough will bubble up and rise.

3. After the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place your Dutch oven, uncovered, into the preheating oven to warm up.

4. While your Dutch oven preheats, turn the dough onto a well-floured surface. With floured hands, form the dough into a ball. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rest.

5. After the oven is preheated (or 30 min), carefully remove the Dutch oven. With floured hands, place the bread dough into it. (You can put a piece of parchment under the dough if your Dutch oven isn’t enamel coated.)

6. Replace the cover and bake for 30 minutes covered. Carefully remove the cover and bake for 7-15 minutes* more, uncovered.

7. Carefully remove bread from a cutting board and slice with a bread knife.

8. Enjoy!