The Benefits of An Old-Fashioned, Simple Life: In Love with Harvest, Wheat and Bread

 “After a full belly all is poetry.”  Frank McCourt

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There are not too many people who appreciate the simple things in life. As the world becomes more complicated and advanced, people struggle through days rather than live through with happiness, interest and love. The advantages to the new technological world are clear, but it fails to provide one with senses, feelings, pleasure and true happiness. Events, time, other people move fast and as an outcome of the speed all grow to be disconnected, distant and removed from society and from their loved ones. The modern lifestyle may have advantages and one may have a better quality of life in the material sense but if processes are simplified one can turn back to an easier way of living with a reduced level of stress that will carry over into all parts of being.  The overwhelming amount of information causes tension but simplifying things means one will gain a sense of calm and focus. One will be present in nature, one will belong and overall, these changes will make one healthier. Simplifying things will allow one time to focus on healthy activities like cooking healthy meals, exercising and spending time with loved ones, like feeling simple things like wind, rain, sand, like sensing and experiencing nature. To start with, bake daily bread, and bake as it means life: enjoy every part of the process!

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” Harriet Van Horne

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“[Breadbaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells…there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel. that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.” M. F. K. Fisher

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Sourdough is a wonder of nature. It was the first form of leavening used by bakers in Ancient Egypt, as long ago as 1500 BC. Ancient bakers used to preserve and store their yeast for bread making over long periods of time. This is called a sourdough starter. It was most commonly used to make Rye breads rise, but can be used with all types of flour and in all kinds of breads. Despite the availability of many types of leavening agents today, sourdough is still widely consumed because of its distinctive tangy taste and chewy texture.

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Begin with: 120 g flour, 250 ml warm water, 50 g sugar,  10 g fresh yeast.

Add on 5th day: 120 g flour, 240 milk, 50 g sugar.

Add on 10th day: 120 g flour, 240 ml, 50 g sugar.

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Mix all the starter ingredients well and place in medium-sized glass bowl. Cover with dinner plate so as not to cover tightly. Let stand overnight in warm place. Stir down each day for 4 days (Important – do not refrigerate batter at any time). On the fifth day add flour, milk and sugar and stir. Stir down each day until 10th day. On the 10th day add flour, milk and sugar and measure out 3 separate cups (250 ml) of starter. Use 200 g starter  to bake choice of bread and use remaining dough to keep as the mother starter and carry on feeding.

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“Only a fool argues with a skunk, a mule or a cook.” Cowboy saying

4 thoughts on “The Benefits of An Old-Fashioned, Simple Life: In Love with Harvest, Wheat and Bread

  1. Gorgeous post Judit. I love sourdough bread… I’ve never had much luck making it for myself (my starter just seems to die!) but the scent and crumb of sourdough is unrivalled, in my opinion! Thanks for sharing your method x

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