Baking Bread

Last month when I wasn’t busy sorting and purging through all my stuff, I had an opportunity to attend a class at Stoney Creek Farm on making healthy bread. There were ten or eleven of us at the class, everyone there for a different purpose.  Though I’ve been making bread for years, I’d never ground my own flour and was very curious to see how difficult it was and whether it made a big difference in how the bread tasted.  Some women were veteran bakers like me, but others had tried to make bread and only experienced failure and needed some hands on experience on how to do it. 

Our teacher, Judy Felts, shared so much great information! When I signed up for the class, I was thinking I wouldn’t learn that many new things, but I was wrong!  In addition to tips on making the best possible bread, she also gave tips on how and where to buy the freshest, organic ingredients.

Since I suffer from latephobia (fear of being late – it’s real!), I got there early and got to see Judy chopping fresh herbs for one of the breads we would be making.  She’d already mixed up a batch of dough and it was rising in a bowl nearby.  The smell of fresh basil, thyme, sage, and other spices filled the air, soon to be replaced by the heavenly aroma of freshly baked bread.  While we waited for everyone to gather, there was three varieties of bread and butters available to sample.


Freshly baked loaves of bread

Judy weighed, kneaded, and shaped the dough into loaves, adorable cloverleaf dinner rolls, and oh man, cinnamon rolls.  People took turns handling the dough, getting practice and asking questions, learning how to create this miracle of life.  It wasn’t long before we were all talking and laughing, even though most of us had never met before that morning.  Food does that – it’s something we gather around, share, experience.   


I remembered to take a picture before I ate the whole thing

Once all of that was in the oven baking, Judy ground some flour and mixed up another batch of dough.  Again, we all took turns learning what it felt like, the texture, the consistency, all the things that make the very best bread possible.  Then, the best part.  The tasting of warm bread, fresh from the oven.  First we each had a roll, and then, yes, then, the cinnamon rolls with their sweet orange glaze.  There’s no picture of that because even though I was really full at that point, I scarfed it down. 


What was left after we’d all had a taste

It’s hard to say what I enjoyed more – the experience of being with others and creating something, learning new things, hanging out at the farm, or eating amazing food.  It was definitely something I’d like to experience more of all the way around. 


Herb bread


Our hostess, Leigh Funderburk and teacher Judy Felts