There is something about bread that feeds the soul and the stomach. It is one of the most basic foods, made with the simplest of ingredients: flour, water, salt, and time. And yet it comforts us in a deeply fundamental way. It represents a connection to the earth and to each other. As we watch our normal channels of connection rapidly sever, is it any wonder we’ve cleared the flour shelves bare?
When the chaos of the virus hit, Alan turned to bread for comfort. As he worked from home and we sheltered in place, he began to bake. Four floury, pillowy rounds graced the thick wood countertop every morning – some with chopped walnuts or cranberries, others plain farmhouse white. Some were mailed to family and friends, some were delivered to a nearby women’s shelter or given to people in need. “Loaves of love,” he dubbed them as he packed them up each morning.
Baking became not only a balm to sooth his anxious thoughts, but a tiny way to give. It’s easy to feel helpless right now because, let’s face it, helping is hard when you can’t leave the house. But hopeless isn’t acceptable either. If this is the community we have right now, then it’s the community we embrace.
Let’s all bake together.
Below are five recipes to feed your soul and your stomach. The recipes range from simple to complex to suit your skill level and your pantry. Props to my BIL for the Corona beer idea! We hope you enjoy.
Pikelets (Teeny Vegan Pancakes)
1t baking powder
Whisk together and cook on a hot griddle.
Top with fruit, jam, or maple syrup and enjoy!
Corona Beer Bread
1T baking powder
1 bottle beer
2T chopped herbs
1c shredded cheese
You don’t have to use Corona beer to make this biscuity bread, but it sure seems fitting…
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix ingredients together and smoosh into a small cake pan (I use a 6×8 glass baking dish, but the batter is thick and most sizes will work.)
Bake 45 minutes and enjoy!
2 apples (or other fruit)
brown sugar, divided
cast iron skillet
This recipe works with virtually any fruit, including frozen and canned (just drain the liquid).
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Slice fruit and sauté in 2T of butter in a cast iron skillet
Add 2T of brown sugar.
Whisk eggs, milk, flour, and 1T sugar together.
When fruit is mostly softened, toss pan in oven for 10 minutes.
Remove and dot with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Bake 10 minutes and serve warm.
2 3/4c bread flour
1 1/2t yeast
1/4c olive oil
1c warm water
Put dry ingredients into a food processor.
Add oil, then water in a steady stream.
Process for 2-3 minutes until dough forms a ball.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Knead briefly on a lightly floured counter, then let rise for 20 minutes.
Top with your favorites and bake 6-10 minutes.
scant 1c warm water
3 1/2 c flour
Mix together in a large bowl until combined.
Cover with plastic wrap or a loose lid for 2 hrs.
Place in fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take half of dough and split into thirds. (Store the other half in the fridge for tomorrow.)
Roll into strands and braid together.
(Ask your daughter or niece how to braid, or look it up on Youtube.)
Let rise for 1 hour 20 minutes.
Brush with egg wash (1 beaten egg plus 1T water).
Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
*This recipe is adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. If you like it, you should totally buy the book.
Pikelets! I just recently texted a NZ friend to ask what these are! Will try
They’re really light, fluffy, teeny pancakes! Perfect with fruit compote, and handy when you run out of eggs 🙂