The Common Good
February 2013

VIDEO: The Spiritual Practice of Bread-Making

by The Editors | February 2013

Spiritual growth through bread-making.

Many congregations lament that young adults are leaving church these days. So we asked former Sojourners interns Anne Marie Roderick and Joshua Witchger to share what keeps them in the pews. Find out what these two 20-somethings have to say in “‘Relevance’ is Not Enough (February 2013) as they reveal some of their most treasured spiritual practices, including bread-making.

Expand your own understanding of Christian faith and practice. Try this bread recipe, compliments of Sojourners magazine associate editor Elizabeth Palmberg.

Step 1: MIX
-4 cups bread flour (or whole wheat flour, or all-purpose white flour)
-1.5 teaspoons salt
-heaping 1/2 teaspoon yeast
-2 to 2-¾ cups water

  • In a large bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Then mix in water; start with 2 cups and add more as needed (if you have strands of dough covered with flour, you are almost there).
  • Cover loosely and let sit on counter (or in warm, turned-off oven) 8 to 12 hours. Amazing flavor develops now! Read “‘Relevance’ is Not Enough" while you wait.

Step 2: FOLD

  • With a spatula, fold the dough over on itself firmly a dozen times. Dough will deflate.
  • Re-cover loosely and let rise an hour or more.

Step 3: BAKE

  • Preheat pizza stone (or enameled Dutch oven top and bottom; cast iron 10” skillet; or, in a pinch, a cookie sheet) to 450 degreees.
  • Distribute a few tablespoons of flour over the top of the dough and, scraping down the sides, around the sides of the dough. Try to avoid deflating dough more than necessary.

  • Plop the dough onto pizza stone/iron skillet/Dutch oven/cookie sheet (flour side down). Slash the top from side to side with parallel shallow gashes. Close oven.
  • Bake for 20 to 35 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when thumped, and when the outside is, in places, as dark as cinnamon (although not as red). Overbaking a little is way better than underbaking!

  • Let bread sit 10 to 15 minutes before cutting; it’s still baking inside during this stage. Then enjoy!


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