Let’s not kid ourselves, this Coronavirus lockdown is scary. Some people are snowed under trying to juggle homeschooling with working from home and doing all the house work, but there are many others finding themselves alone with far too much time to think and be scared. Teenagers happy to be let loose on Netflix will eventually tire of their beds. Little kids will feed off our anxiety and worry if we don’t find more positive ways to channel our energy. At this time I so wish I could bake lots and lots of bread every day and distribute it where needed, but this goes against the spirit of isolation. Besides, I have my own busy household and housework to take care of.
What I can do though is share some of the knowledge I have built up over the past two years and hopefully inspire some people to use this time to bake. If you have the time or the inclination I urge you to give it a go. Give your restless teenagers a project to get stuck into. Let them grow a starter from scratch and then bake something with it. If not bread, then flapjacks or banana bread. You don’t need all the fancy tools or fancy artisan flour. You can make do with what you have around the house and use any flour you can get your hands on. This is the time to learn a new skill that engages the brain in lots of different ways. The feeling of dough in your hands is real and comforting and the smell that fills the house is intoxicating. Try it – I promise you won’t regret it!
If you are worried about having too much bread and no-one to eat it, then share your loaves with neighbours or homeless shelters. You don’t have to make contact with anyone in the process. The more you practice the easier it will be and at this time no-one will turn down a loaf of home made happiness!
I have shared a series of videos on You-Tube Instagram TV that explain the whole process. See links below.
My contact details are on the notes and you are more than welcome to contact me for advice and help. There are so many resources out there that it can be confusing, but please don’t let that stop you! Pick one or two people to follow and move one step at a time.
For anyone in the Ladybrand area the flour that will be most easily accessible is the locally milled OVK Bread Flour and the stoneground wholegrain flour milled from Vastrap wheat that is sold by Thandi Sliepen @ Hadeda Gallery.
Happy baking! I really hope these notes help to get you started.