Today is bread-baking day at the Monastery. During the process there is an experience of tears of gratitude.
The Guide has often reminded us that urgency is not our friend. Urgency is a tool of conditioned mind. The process of making bread will not allow for urgency. It demands time and allowing. It takes time for bread to become.
Standing at the kitchen counter counting the strokes and the breath as the bread takes form becomes a dance of body, breath, and bread dough. The mind quiets with the repetitive motions and the soft sounds of the bread being folded over and over again. What a gift it is to be a participant in an age-old simple task requiring time, attention, and 100% participation.
Basic Yeast Bread Recipe
For the sponge:
6 cups warm water
2 Tbs. yeast
1/2 cup molasses
8 cups spelt flour
For the dough:
Add: 2 Tbs. salt
1/3 cup olive oil
6-8 cups spelt flour
Makes 4 loaves.
The Bread Sequence at a Glance (please see The Monastery Cookbook for more detailed directions)
1. Mix the sponge. Allow it to work for 1 hour.
2. Mix in remaining ingredients and knead 400 strokes. Allow to rise 50 minutes.
3. Punch down the dough. Allow to rise again for 40 minutes.
4. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and form into balls. Allow to rise for
5. Form into loaves. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Allow to rise 20-25 minutes before placing in the oven.
6. Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating the loaves once in the oven after 30 minutes.