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Knead to Deal with Your Feelings?


One more word on breads…. If you’ll remember my first bread was an easy brown soda bread loaf. Made in a rectangular tin – here it is:
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This week I was on bread duty and we were informed that everyone on bread duty that day had to make a granary loaf. It’s a bread made with granary flour, a mixtrue of malted wheat and rye. This was my first experience kneading dough. I totally loved it – a great way to get out aggression.

Speaking of aggression, it’s something I have to be careful about while cooking . I mean sometimes using your hands in a “hard way” is great – like in kneading. But, for other things, like filleting fish, making salad – it could totally ruin your preparations. When you fillet a fish (here Darina is demonstrating filleting a flat fish), you should use gliding motions and feathery strokes with your fillet knife. My tendency (which I’m working on!) is to start sawing away.

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Similarly, I think I may have ruined the lunch salad when I was on salad duty because you have to be so gentle when tearing your salad leaves. I think it was Darina who mentioned once that salad can be torn as though it was handled by angels or as though it was run over by a truck. If you tear the salad leaves harshly, it bruises them and the leaves go black and possibly soggy quicker.

But, we were talking about bread – and my granary loaf. What a success. Bread in particular has this mysterious effect on the people around it. (To me, it’s similar to when people see babies. They just gravitate towards them and start talking about how cute they are.) When my granary loaf came out of the oven, a few teachers started hovering and mentioning how gorgeous it was. I think they were impressed by how high my loaf was (how much it had risen). I hope you can see somewhat from the photos how the granary loaf is higher than the soda bread.

To check if bread is ready, we take it out of the oven and thump on it … and listen carefully. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready. We also pick up the bread and feel how heavy it is. It should feel light; if it’s heavy, it goes back in the oven.

I’ve been eating a slice of my granary loaf with jam for breakfast ever since. Here I am feeling close to my food.

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