Here at The Feast Rising Bakery we make bread in a time-honoured fashion: slowly. Taking from the locality just what we need – flour, water, a little salt to temper the yeasts, be they natural or added – we then add the one remaining essential… Time itself.
Long, slow maturing of the dough not only gives a handcrafted loaf its wonderfully unique appearance, taste and texture but, as the wheat is broken down by natural enzymic processes, both digestibility and nutrition are also enhanced. Properly made bread is everything our food should be: pure, wholesome, tasty – good for us, in fact, in both body and in soul.
It is made by a burgeoning resurgence of passion amateurs and concientious crafts people alike who, working evermore harmoniously with the enviroment, supply their neighbourhoods with something sincere.
Flour is likely to be sourced from nearby farms and mills, with a preference for stoneground and organic where it’s available; pure, wholesome ingredients unique to their source that the baker regards with a necessary reverence and, in the using, test her skill, inspire creativity and instil tremendous satisfaction.
Fermentation of the dough will be a lengthy process, thus imbuing the finished loaf with qualities that the manufacturers of industrial bread long ago eschewed in favour of shelf-life and ease of processing. A properly made loaf’s immediate visual appeal are evidence of the skill and care worked into quality ingredients. The simple wholesomeness of bread properly made are further natural benefits that we experience on perhaps a more intuitive level.
Adapting their ever-increasing craft to the idiosyncracies not only of each harvest but of each milling, these bakers turn out loaves of consistent integrity whose appearance may change, albeit indiscernibly, with the seasons.
So, as we convene at the common table – as a couple, as a family, as a community – with properly made bread at its centre, we’ve a chance to reacquaint ourselves both with each other and, via the farmer and the miller, with the land that sustains us. And in doing so perhaps we get a glimpse, amongst this maddening maelstrom of modern life, of our true place upon this Earth.