A whisper from the woods

Food for thought, January 2022

Jan 3, 2022

Hey there! 

It is (already) 2022! How did that happen so quickly?!
New year, new beginnings. Right?

It is that time when we once again make a promise to continue good practices or to do something different in the new year.  To enjoy success with our resolutions, we need to remember to make them clear and obtainable.  It is helpful to break them up into small, realistic objectives that will help us meet that larger goal.

What happens in your kitchen is a fantastic proxy to your life. Take time to analyze your cooking and eating habits. They will tell you a lot if you are ready to listen.  

I am lucky, in more ways than I can think of… For one thing, I am lucky I enjoy my time in the kitchen.

Let us face it. Eating is a basic need. Therefore, cooking and preparing what we are going to eat should be a key player in our life.

Nowadays, however, many people relinquish the responsibility of preparing their meals. Our relationship with food is not just what is on our plate. Thinking about our meal, planning for it, buying the necessary ingredients, preparing them, cooking them, waiting for them to cook… all this is part of our relationship with food. 

Today I bring you a recipe that portrays this reality perfectly. It is nothing more, nothing less, than bread!!!

For me, making bread is therapeutic. I hardly ever buy bread, because I genuinely enjoy the process by which simple flour, water, yeast, and salt become a beautiful loaf of bread that I can savor and offer to others. 

Bread-making could take a whole blog of its own. Yet, this is a simple recipe to get us started. It will require little time of actual work coupled with some moments of waiting. This waiting allows us the opportunity to enjoy our relationship with what we are about to eat.  

So, let us get baking! 

Ingredients:

  • 320g room temperature water 
  • 12g fresh yeast 
  • 500g white flour 
  • 8g salt

Instructions:

Mixing: 

  • In a large mixing bowl, start by mixing the water with the yeast until dissolved. 
  • Add the flour and salt.
  • Mix with a dough scraper or a wooden spoon, until combined. 
  • Transfer to a clean surface.
  • Knead for 8 minutes without adding any extra flour. 
  • After eight minutes, make a ball.
  • Return the ball to the bowl.
  • Sprinkle with a touch of flour. 
  • Cover with a cloth for the first rest of 1hour (it might take less or more time depending on your kitchen’s temperature. Mine is at around 21ºC). 

Pre-shape: 

  • Dust the surface of your dough.
  • Transfer it, sticky side up, to a lightly dusted surface. 
  • Gently flatten the dough.
  • Fold it around until you get a nice-looking bouncy ball.
  • Cover once again with a cloth.
  • Wait 15 minutes.  

Shape: 

  • Repeat the previous steps. You will get a strong dough with elastic skin on top! 
  • Place it on top of a wooden peel of parchment paper.
  • Give it a final rest of 1hour. 

Baking: 

  • Preheat your oven to 200ºC (392ºF)  
  • Boil some water. 
  • Gently place your dough in the oven.
  • Pour the boiling water into a tray underneath the bread.  
  • Bake for 30 minutes. (Keep an eye on it if it is the first time you are baking. Different ovens behave very differently.) 
  • Once done, remove the loaf from the oven.
  • Let it cool down for a few minutes. 

There is something magical about cooking and especially about bread making. The more you do it, the more you learn about it, the more you understand it, the more you make it your own.
I hope you can gift yourself some time in this coming year. I hope you get to build an impressive relationship with what you eat. 

Happy 2022 for all. As usual, thank you for being here!

Download your printable recipe card here:
Food for thought: Simple Wheat Loaf

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6 Comments

  1. Natacha Ampe

    This bread looks perfect! Thanks for the inspiration! I will try it out 😄

    Reply
    • Kika

      Please do, and share it with us. You know I love seeing your creations!

      Reply
  2. Nana

    Obrigado pela partilha! Acabei de fazer o meu primeiro pão ontem e a-do-rei! Ficou bonito e fofinho e sabe ainda melhor, porque sou eu quem o fiz! Sim, é uma experiência fantástica e, também, terapeutica!

    Reply
    • Kika

      Olá Nana, exatamente, sabe ainda melhor quando somos nós a fazer 🙂
      Muito obrigada pela partilha e parabéns pela conquista! Boa sorte… a partir de agora é sempre a abrir 😀

      Reply
  3. Jennifer Troyan

    This bread looks amazing! Thank you for sharing this and your insights. I enjoyed reading this blog and feel inspired. Such a wonderful reminder that we can be mindful while doing anything.

    I can see that you added a special ingredient called “love” which makes everything taste the best!

    Reply
    • Kika

      Uau Jennifer, thank you for your comment. Specially when you speak about love, as an ingredient. Definitely, YES!

      That was somewhat subconscious within my reasoning, but I should think and write about it some other time.

      Thank you!

      Reply

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