When I was a brand new mom in the late 1970's, i knew I needed to save money anyway I could. Kristi was probably about 3 months old and I was still on my maternity leave from the hospital, when I decided I would learn how to make bread.
OK that was easier said than done.
Oh, some of my attempts produced very heavy large sized hockey pucks; other times there was either too much wheat flour or not enough unbleached flour. I must have tried for about 2 months using different recipes. I was determined to make quality bread and Scud was very gracious in how he would try some of my many disasters.
Eventually I tried a recipe from a baby food cook book I had been given called, "Feed me, I'm Yours".
That was the answer!! And not only did I find a good bread recipe, but many other recipes that I used for years with my family.
I think bread making is becoming a lost art. And the reason being is it is very time consuming. Pllus, you must learn how to Knead the dough. That took quite a while for me to master but eventually it became quite easy to do.
I loved to let Kristi "help" me as she got older. We used to play this game where i would say in a loud voice "KNEADING THE DOUGH" and she would reply in as loud as voice as she could "EATING THE DOUGH".
The memories of this brings a huge grin to my face every time I think of it.
I've learned thru trial and error how much yeast to add, and have often ruined the dough by adding scalding milk, instead of very warm milk. I've thrown away too many disasters. Yet I have had years of successes. Depending on the ages of my kids, I made 3-6 loaves of bread a week for years.
Funny thing about homemade bread, it really is yummy and you don't realize how GOOD it is till you eat store bought bread. I learned this while Kristi was in kindergarten and she went to a friends home for lunch and wouldn't eat. We discovered that she didn't like the bread. She still isn't much of a bread eater, but will eat my bread whenever I make it now.
As the kids got older and went to college and I was working full time, I decided that bread making was something I didn't need to do anymore. But as they came home from college or once we moved to Woodleaf, I would make it when I knew they would be visiting.
Katie's favorite thing to do with mom's homemade bread is to make cinnamon toast and this year she introduced this to her nephew Kellen and now he loves the bread too.
This morning I decided to make some bread and was wondering if I had put too much yeast in. You see, I've been making bread for 34 yrs now and I never measure anything; its all by sight. As I mixed the yeast milk mixture in with the flour, I started remembering what I thought was a bible passage saying that a little least can ruin the whole dough.
In Old Testament times, yeast in bread making represented impurity. The Isrealites were told not to make bread with yeast at certain times of the year as yeast could represent the evil in their lives and their world.
Yeast has a way of permeating thru the whole dought. As you knead the bread, you allow the yeast to make its way throughout the flour mixture. In breadmaking, this allows the dough to rise, and after a couple of hours, you punch it down, divide it into what will become loaves, knead it again slightly and then roll it out into the loaves and you let it rise again before you place it in the oven to bake.
I was reminded of how the yeast works thru the dough today and thought of it as God working His way thru our lives.
This is not like the Old Testament. This is the New Testament way of thinking.
In Matthew 13:33 Jesus says
"The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough."
What if the yeast in this parable represented a good thing, like Jesus? And that Jesus permeating Himself thru our lives would increase the power of His Kingdom here on earth? Because to me, that's what it seems like is happening. When we allow Christ access to permeate our lives, and we follow His leading, and obey Him, we give Him the opportunity to "rise" up out of our lives and we overflow with the grace and love of Our Savior.
I contemplated today as I punched down the dough if that isn't what Christ has to do with us sometimes.
He needs to "punch" us down to get us to get over ourselves and our pride, so that HE can RISE UP again and be seen.
And what if the final product of the baked bread is so delicious that no one wants the easy store bought bread?
That if our lives radiated the fullness of Christ, others would see Him in our lives and quit feeding their lives with things that never really matter, and would quit seeking religions that in the end, will get them nowhere.
My favorite smell in the entire world is the smell of bread baking in the oven. Because the aroma fills every space of our home. What if we were the "aroma of Christ" everyday to a world who desperately needs Him.
Jesus also said in John 6:35
"I am the Bread of Life." He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.
Oh, that we may partake of the Bread of LIFE each and everyday.