Making dough and more….

In our busy world, with so much to do, the pleasure of taking time out to travel by boat to a small island inhabited by around 25 – 30 people can be so wonderfully relaxing.

On this day it was great to enjoy time with 8 people I had never met before and learn a basic skill that reaches back into the mists time. A skill used to feed ourselves with a wonderful food. The baking of bread. In this case in an brick oven heated by burning wood. This is the way that bread has been made for centuries. And still is in parts of the world. Yet a skill that is seldom embraced in our usual hectic routine as it does take some time.

The speed to manufacturer our food ever quickening with mass production a crucial force in supplying the shelves of supermarkets – for an ever growing population. And yet, the time to re-engage with this basic skill of making bread is wonderful. To make artisan bread the way it has been done for thousands of years is just wonderful. The ingredients are minimal – flour, water, and a little salt. That is it. Because this bread is made with sour dough – itself only made with water and flour. The natural yeast required for the bread to rise is found in the atmosphere, so there is no requirement for added yeast.

Good food, to enjoy with people we care about. And important for many who wish to be aware of what they eat and where their food comes from.

It is heartening that some of the people were parents with small children wishing to learn how too better feed their families. To provide better, more natural food.

Because there are so few ingredients it is much easier to make sure that the best ingredients are used. The bread prepared in a way that helps make the gluten much easier to digest – helping reduce the number of people who suffer with gluten intolerance. Mainly because the bread is made properly.

The loaves you can see are all made by hand – in a true artisan way – by people who have not made a sour dough loaf like this before.

Time enjoyed off the beaten track, learning from someone with real enthusiasm for what they do and wishing to share their skill. And at the end of a really enjoyable day, absorbed making a variety of baked items, it was a happy bunch who boarded the small boat back to the mainland. Laden with our freshly baked items soon be shared.

None of us seemed to be remotely interested emails, no-one made a phone call, and other than taking a few pictures, no one was glued to their phone or hooked up to social media. Just a day to enjoy time off the beaten track, investing a little time in recharging our batteries and learning a valuable life skill. A day to really engage and enjoy with wonderful people.

A rather poignant reminder that the world will carry on for a day without us, and a reminder that I ought to take more time out to keep my batteries topped up.

Will I be baking again – most certainly. It was such fun, so relaxing and a wonderful way to make really good, true food. I probably won’t be building a brick oven in the garden though.

A simple question – when will I take some more time out to relax and learn a new skill? Crucially – when will you?

My best wishes,


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