This spring, as the world was hit with a pandemic, my family routine suddenly changed. As we practiced social distancing and my children could not attend school or daycare, my forty-hour work week turned into a one hundred and sixty-eight-hour work week of full-time parenting. It took a couple weeks for us to adjust to our new schedule, but with the extra time I had on my hands and the need to find activities to keep three children occupied, we turned to baking.
I’ve always been a baker of cakes, muffins and cookies, but I had never made homemade bread. So, like most moms these days, I scoured Pinterest for the very best recipe and then called our amazing local bulk food store who thankfully had yeast and flour in stock. We donned our aprons and the kids and I set to baking.
Bread making can be a bit tricky. Although there is a recipe to follow, you cannot be exact. The flour amount can change depending on the temperature and humidity in the air. You have to find the right feel to the dough to know you’ve added just the right amount of flour. We had a few loaves that never made the cut early on. But over the last few months, the kids and I have successfully made about thirty loaves of bread and over a hundred hamburger buns. I love working with the dough, I love the accomplishment of making fresh bread for the week and I love the smell of my kitchen while it bakes. We always make an extra loaf to take to a neighbour or family member later in the day which helps teach my kids to be generous and kind.
Breadmaking has become very important to me. The experience of setting aside a time each week to prepare fresh bread for my family is something that has set the tone for other changes in our weekly routine. Instead of driving our kids to daycare, school and evening activities, our weekends and evenings are spent together as a family playing games, taking walks, going for hikes and of course baking. It has been a time to reconnect with each other, to talk with each other and at the end of the day we break bread together.
By Danielle McNelly, Nortech for Windows, Doors & Sunrooms