Making bread has been a therapeutic process for me for a number of years now. The tactile and mindful aspect is interesting to me and I love the fact you have something to take your mind of the job you're currently working on to tend to your dough. As a busy person it is good to have a distraction at times.
I started out in Week 1 of lockdown with a positive, energetic approach to how I was going to deal with having a caged toddler, a business and anxiety. This idea was dashed in Week 2 when the sheer weight of this and the tiredness kicked in. I saw this post by Matt Haig and I was immediately embarrassed by my posts in the first week that were of the bread i'd eagerly baked and posted on Instagram, was it a distraction method or was I just doing what I love so that I could to cope?
You don't always have to do stuff. Or achieve stuff. You dont have to spend your time wisely and productively. You don't have to be doing tai chi or artisan baking. Sometimes you can just be and feel the things and get through and survive and that is more than enough.
More reflection later, I am in a more relaxed and upbeat mindset and have remembered why I love baking. It is a passion and does make me feel better. Balance is key in life and I am trying hard to feel productive at times when I can, and relax and absorb the situation in others.
A few people have asked for my recipe and here are the things I've learnt this week.
500g Strong White Flour
7g Yeast (sachet)
25ml Vegetable or Olive Oil
300ml Warm Water
Combine the water, oil and yeast in a jug and stir well. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl.
Combine ingredients and form a ball. Use flour or oil to knead for ten minutes.
Leave covered in a damp tea towel for 1hour.
Push out all the air using fingers and palm of hand. Roll into bread shape , I chose a rectangle length and tuck in the ends gently. Make sure the bread joins along the base of the bread to avoid splitting.
Sprinkle with water and flour and leave to rise for another hour.
Preheat oven to 180C Fan and place a tray of water in the base of the over.
Slice with a cerated knife along the top.
Cook for 30 mins or until brown and hollow sounding when knocking the bottom of the bread.