I’ve been baking a lot. Monday is Bread Day during the Family Activity portion of our schedule (3:00–4:00 PM), and so far we’ve made: A cheesy quick bread, Southern cast-iron cornbread, and butter fan rolls. All of the recipes came from Bread Illustrated.
I know everyone is doing #sourdoughchallenge or whatever and using up the world’s supply of flour, but can you blame them? Baking is a wonderfully slow and methodical activity. It lends well to working as a team and (usually) doesn’t require a lot of technical skill so nearly everyone can get involved somehow. Baking also begets baking, and we’ve ended up with some bonus cookies (first peanut butter, then oatmeal cranberry). It’s a single activity that works against a lot of the worst parts of quarantined coronavirus life.
Pastor Erik wrote well about this last year—the satisfyingly slow nature of baking, not the bonus cookies:
The habit of baking bread slows me down. Baking bread takes all day. Were I to rush the folding process, the bread wouldn’t rise. Were I to skip the resting, the flavor wouldn’t develop. In our on-demand society where we expect instant results, baking bread helps me learn the slower rhythms of God’s grace. Mix, fold, rest. Inhale, exhale.
Virustime is so fluid. Slowing down to bake helps stake claim to a portion of time and make it fixed and finite. Plus, bonus cookies!