Reflections on Bread-Making by Miriam Olmos

Making bread is one of the most amazing processes. Just mixing flour, water, yeast, and a little sugar and oil, can do it. Certainly, the right proportions of each ingredient are important, as is the right "touch"-getting to know bread, how it feels, how it rises.

I spent time learning how to make bread, and in the process I experienced failures. But each experience taught me that in order to offer nourishment to others, one must be united with the ingredients with love, attention and dedication. I also discovered that being able to offer nice bread to others brings happiness to them as well as to the one who made it.

The art of making bread is ancient. Wanting to know more about it, I went to the Internet and found that the first leavened bread was made by the Egyptians. The Greek historian, Herodotus, wrote in the 5th century B.C. about Egyptian bread making. As we can see, the art of making bread is part of our history.

To add to this interest, did you know that there are museums of bread? The German Bread Museum is located in Ulm, Germany. It is the oldest of its kind. Founded in 1955 by Father & Son Eiselen Foundation, this nonprofit organization sponsors research projects dedicated to finding solutions to the problem of hunger in the world. The collection consists of more than 10,000 objects, 1,300 of which are on exhibit at any one time. The collection illustrates how bread making developed from the simplicity of kneading by hand to the high technology used today in industrial bakeries. The exhibits also show the social and cultural history of bread.

Inspired by this information, I went to my kitchen and made some Cheese Bread Rolls. This recipe was created by a friend of mine who lives in Brazil. I am sure she will be happy to hear that I am sharing it with you

Cheese Bread Rolls

Flour - 4 cups
Parmesan Cheese - 1 cup
Water - 1 3/4 cup
Salt - ½ t.
Oil - 2 T.
Sugar - 1 T.
Yeast - 1 ½ T.

Heat the water to 110°F. Add oil, sugar, salt and yeast and let stand until yeast begins to foam, about five minutes. Mix this liquid with the flour and cheese and knead for 7 to 10 minutes. Let dough rise in a warm place until it doubles. Punch down dough and form 20 balls. Bake at 370°F for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

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