Had my first experience baking bread with Baker & Cook’s New Zealand founder Dean Brettschneider .
I wouldn’t say i love the experience, but it was new n it surely opened me up further and wider.
And if that were the case, it has succeeded, because any experience should expand you, not narrow you further .
There were a few insights i gained making bread, and a few parts i particularly enjoyed.
Like kneading it, like mixing the flour and water into the dough. Feeling it. Feeling it come to life.
As if something in the heart has been translated into the dough. In the process.
And what about the insights ?
It would be, that bread is like a mirror, really. That reflects the qualities of the baker as a person.
However you are, the bread will be.
My bread didn’t rise as much as the others, and it was because in the kneading process, i was tough with it. I wasn’t gentle enough. I didn’t know how to love it.
I like a few things Dean said, like the dough is very delicate and you would have to be as gentle treating it, as if you were handling a baby.
And that you would have to put on your thinking caps, use your mind, your hands and your heart in the baking process, because you are dealing with natural things, pretty much like handling a 2yr old.
In the process of handling, he was gentle yet decisive. Those translated to a bread that would look really good and be really yums. The seemingly easy moves mattered through and through. The signature is in the details.
And I m sure people eating it would feel it.
My bread didnt rise as much because I knocked too much gas out of it.
“And gas is precious”, Dean said.
That was foreign n I loved it.
It showed me that I knew little n that I had learnt more.
Dean tried to show me by gripping my hands, on my left, he used more pressure, and on my right, less. He was holding them the same, yet different.
And i knew immediately the difference.
I had been too tough on the bread and it couldn’t take it.
This sort of brought me to think if i was too hard on others and myself.
If the bread was another person, probably I would come across as being aggressive and strong.
It showed me an image of myself.
It enlightened me about how I could b gentler with myself.
With my grasp.
I learnt to b gentleness n malleability. And to b gentle with the grasp in the process, it has to start on the mind or heart.
And how gently you treated it, how you treated it, it would return to you in the same measure, only later.
As in life, there would be an equal an opposite reaction.