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bread, proofed in the fridge for 24 hours. I take the first active steps to making this loaf two days ago. Sourdough makes me slow down; to see time flowing in longer, slower ways.

I slash the bread with a razor before it goes in the oven. This triangular slashing pattern is a vague allusion to trinitarian spirituality. Bakers do all kinds of different patterns, my own continues to evolve. I’ve also signed the middle with combo of my MW initials because I am vain sometimes.

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The lid keeps steam in, creating a more humid environment that allows the bread to rise. Professional ovens have humidity control but home ovens are well-ventilated and don’t hold steam well. So the Dutch oven is a good hack that uses water evaporating from the dough to do the trick.

20 minutes with the lid on at 450 after preheating to 500.

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20 more minutes with the lid off. Risen quite nicely, what bakers call “oven spring” - helped by preheating the cast iron to 500 beforehand. Don’t forget your oven mitts.

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Building some LEGO with my son while the bread bakes. Autocorrect is insistent I shout LEGO.

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While the second loaf bakes and the first loaf cools, I prepare the charcuterie board for our supper. Just add fresh, hot bread.

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Baking bread sure gets you in touch with some of Jesus’ teachings about yeast in a much deeper way. The bread, left long enough, becomes exactly the same as the starter (mother) from whence it came, itself capable of totally taking over any dough it’s introduced to as the yeast and bacteria from the mother multiply all throughout.

You think about daily bread, and breaking bread, and how the whole world is one giant eucharistic celebration that we are here at all.

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The yeast of the gospel moving its way throughout culture is, according to René Girard, the anthropological revelation that our scapegoats that we use to form an "us" versus "them" are actually innocent victims. We stop being able to build a form of togetherness that he names "unanimity minus one," that, is, minus all of those whom our society (and our churches) are all too happy to exclude and hate, to victimize.

We gain a conscience. We see through the hate that Trump is likely spewing now.

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Second loaf, in its proofing basket, ready to go into the oven. You’ve seen the drill now.

When I first started baking, I made it a practice to try to always give a loaf away to a neighbour. A good, stretching practice for this introverted Five who has trouble not seeing every interaction as a drain on his emotional energy. But it’s too cold lately, and maybe that’s just a convenient excuse.

It’s definitely one of my social health barometers. Do you have any of those?

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@mattwiebe I love how this mastodon group has become essentially .social.breadbakers 😂

@mattwiebe that’s a good looking board looks like some chorizo or pepperoni, some salami and a pork pate. The dried figs, cheddars and blue are a nice compliment. I like to add some cocktails onions, some fresh herbs, a few nuts and fruit paste. I’ll be adding some homemade pickles and mustard to my next plate.

@Noah cheers, and those are great additions. We always add grapes if we have ‘em and add a roast chicken when there’s guests.

@mattwiebe OoooOoo good call. I’m cow dairy intolerant so we love the goat and Sherpa cheeses.

@Laura_I nobody has been more (trans)formative in terms of how I see the world and myself. The best book of his to start with if you’re familiar with the Bible is “I See Satan Fall Like Lightning” or “The Scapegoat” if you have a humanities background.

If you’re into more explicitly Christian applications, James Alison (an openly gay Catholic priest) is terrific and my hero. This interview with him was really good: jamesalison.co.uk/texts/scapeg

@Laura_I Oh I see in your bio that you’re studying anthropology, so reading Girard should be an interesting experience because he is very out of sync with the orthodoxies of academia, particularly by affirming any positive cultural content from the Gospels, where (according to Girard) so much of academia itself functions partially by scapegoating its own Christian heritage and history.

@mattwiebe Very needed for me as a Christian anthropologist because literally no one believes it is possible. I've gotten confused looks from anthropology professors when I talk about church and been asked by family and church members about a million times how I can study anthropology. It's honestly exhausting. Also, yeah some anthropology is very dismissive of religion. It's weird. Like religion is extremely important to many people's lives and cultures

@mattwiebe
thank you so much for sharing this thread, I am really moved by it! I'm also in Canada and work with web dev stuff! What kind of framework(s) do you enjoy working with?

@rainer cheers, glad it spoke to you. My core competency is WordPress/PHP, which is good since I work for Automattic on WordPress.com. Been doing a lot more React-based work lately. How about yourself?

@mattwiebe It is because LEGO is a considered a proper noun by most autocorrect programs and will correct it to the way the company, entity, etc. insists is the correct way. The LEGO brand actually uses all caps in their company name. Source: a LEGO enthusiast :)

@Dannoman Ha, yeah, I know, it just always amuses me when a corporation gets to whatever status it takes to beat us into submission through autocorrect.

@mattwiebe I love this! My additional loaf (although more often dozen or two of cookies) usually goes to my coworkers and is the most comfortable way for me to interact with them and show that even though I don’t talk much in the office, I do care about connecting with people. I am also an introvert...and probably a 5 though I don’t have test results to prove it 🙃

@jamie_e I work from home so the office option isn’t open to me, but I hear you on the rest.

As for Enneagram typing, if you think you’re a Five, then you are. Test results aren’t typically useful for the Enneagram, it’s usually better to self-identify or sometimes go through a typing session with an expert of some form. I just read some descriptions on a website and it was immediately clear (and a bit painful).

@mattwiebe yes for sure - I tried a few online tests to gauge where I might be at and ended up with four different results depending on the version of the test and the day I took it 😂 but my gut (gut-wrenching in a way) feeling when I read about them and first listened to the litergist episode on them is most commonly a five.

@jamie_e ha, gotcha. I found the Riso and Hudson’s “Wisdom of the Enneagram” book a great resource. Rohr’s book is also very helpful if you want a more explicitly Christian connection.

@mattwiebe (if you ever don’t feel like sharing, just make panzanella with the second loaf!!?)

@riayngrey I usually freeze the second loaf and reheat it to like fresh when I finish the first loaf. I do make croutons and crostini with older bread but haven’t tried panzanella before. I should remedy that. 😁

@mattwiebe can’t go wrong with bread salad.
samin nosrat’s cookbook “salt, fat, acid, heat” has a panzanella for each season and they are great. plus it’s an amazing cookbook if you haven’t heard of it. before buying my own copy i checked one out from my local library!

@riayngrey oh lovely - I have heard of that book but haven’t checked it out yet. Oh but I have watched a couple of episodes of her Netflix show, I should finish it!

@Laura_I Yup! I bake however often is needed to keep my son, wife, and I supplied with bread. Usually about every five days, since I make two loaves at a time and freeze one, although I sometimes give the second one away to a neighbour

@mattwiebe That's awesome! I love fresh bread, especially sourdough

@mattwiebe I'm looking to start my own sourdough starter sometime soon. Hopefully this weekend.

I may be hitting you up for advice.

@EJames very cool! Happy to give any advice, a great start is to search for “tartine sourdough” on youtube.

@mattwiebe I was going to follow the instructions from The Perfect Loaf.

I've had a starter before, but I was years ago and I gave it up once we had kids.

@EJames ah, that site looks good, too. If you don’t want to start a starter, you can usually just ask for a bit of any bakery’s starter, much easier!

@mattwiebe My starter seems to be thriving. I'm on day 5 and it's doubling in size every 12 hours. Currently feeding it twice a day.

@EJames Great! Sounds like you’re ready to make some bread, then. :)

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