I find myself mixing flour, yeast, water and salt like a novice. Touching the soft, sticky dough with my bare hands feels very therapeutic.
It makes me smile.
As I work the dough, my thoughts drift, and along the way, I realised something; are you ready for it?
Few things capture the essence of slow living quite as perfectly as making artisan bread:
You can’t change or rush the process
The ingredients are simple but it takes time
It needs to rest and grow
You need to slow down and be patient
It sounds beautifully simple doesn’t it? But this, my friends, is an art in itself, especially for those of us who are in many other ways lucky enough to be living in one of the busiest capital cities in the world and I’m sure you feel the same.
And once the bread is all golden and crisp, ready to be dipped, toasted, or made into a sandwich, it’s like holding a work of art, on which you took time to create, and as you pause to savour each bite, that’s what makes it all the more delicious .
No one can deny the warm comfort that comes from the smell of freshly baked bread. It conjures up nostalgic thoughts, and for me, I’m taken straight back to my childhood. To the narrow streets in the village where our grandparents would mix dough with their bitten hands, which despite decades of hard work, still manage to massage the dough with loving, delicate intricacy before gently pushing it into the oven to slowly rise.
To end, I feel another quote is in order, by one of my favourite contemporary writers E. R. McManus:
“Art in its purest form is an extension of the soul. This is exactly what life is supposed to be… the only art we can create is that which authentically reflects who we are. Our soul is the material for all we create. Thus, to nurture the artisan soul, essence is far more important than talent. “The Artisan Soul”
Join me next time when I share another childhood story about my passion for foraging!
(Article written in collaboration with Ralph Dickinson of Petrichor )