At some point, in my life, I heard or read a quote that went something like this...
"Making bread, by hand, is the sign of a civilized society."
I don't know where or when I read/heard this,
but for some reason this concept
has always stayed with me, making a deep impression.
And this weekend, Magda & I made a loaf of honey whole wheat bread.
We make pizza dough, by hand, actually quite often,
but there is something about making a loaf of whole wheat bread that feels quite serious.
Its a commitment....a commitment of time, of patience...of energy.
I think its a wonderful lesson for children and
I have been wanting to make a loaf with Magda for a long time.
So, this was the weekend...we gathered our ingredients.
And this is what we did...
We let the yeast get foamy in 110 degree water
for 10 minutes and added honey.
We mixed together the flours:
whole wheat and bread flour and added salt.
Making a well in the center of the dry ingredients,
we carefully added the yeast mixture and stirred until combined.
Got hands ready for kneading by getting them covered with flour.
Floured our work surface.
And kneaded dough, by hand, about 10-15 minutes.
Until our elastic ball formed.
We let our dough rise, covered and in a warm spot, until doubled in size--about 1 1/2 hours.
We then returned the dough to a lightly floured surface, and punched it down.
Flattening the dough into an oval, we rolled it up lengthwise.
Placed the roll, seam-side down, into a prepared pan.
Covered and place the loaf in a warm place,
and let rise again until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
We then cut a slit down center of loaf and
brushed top with a bit of cream mixed with an egg yolk..
Baked in 400 degree oven for 50 minutes. Let it cool slightly.
Removed from pan, sliced...
Added a little butter...
complete recipe from here.
It is very important to me that my kids learn--not only how to make good food,
but to truly appreciate and respect what they eat.
And it's true:
making good bread is an art form...
but its really not that hard (or expensive!) and
if you've ever consider making a loaf but felt intimidated,
just try it...
You might be surprised at how well it turns out and how civilized you will feel!