I love to make homemade bread. I’ve been making bread since I was a teenager, enrolled in the 4-H program. I won multiple awards at country and state fairs and state demonstration days. Through that hobby, I developed my own recipes for whole wheat bread and homemade pizza and did experiments with making sourdough bread starter.
I have continued to make homemade bread and pizza which my family loves. But I never took time to actually teach my two girls how to make bread. My reason was that I didn’t want to push my interests on them. I wanted them to develop their own interests. That is, I didn’t teach them until this summer, the last summer before my youngest left home. I realized I had a skill that I had never passed down to the next generation, a skill that they could learn from books but would learn so much better from a person. They could take classes but they would learn it so much better right here at home as I watched them practice over and over again.
So, at the beginning of the summer, I timidly asked my younger daughter if she would like to make homemade bread with me. “YES!” she responded enthusiastically. “I have been wishing you would teach me!” We spent several precious days learning to make bread together. I was able to pass down my to her in one summer secrets that took me years to develop.
Each parent has hobbies and interests we love. We’re the best ones to teach these skills to our children. If we don’t pass on these hobbies, some of these handcraft skills may someday be lost forever Better than that, we have the thrill of doing something together with our children.
It’s our children’s choice whether they want to pursue the skill or hobby. As parents, we can’t push our likes on our kids. Yet it would be just as wrong to go to the other extreme and not share our talents at all.
Some parents treat religion like I treated my skills of bread baking. They want their children to discover faith on their own and decide for themselves. How can a child decide whether to follow Christianity without knowing about it? We need to teach them about our faith so when they do come to that age of accountability, they can make an informed choice on their own. If my daughters had never tried to make bread, they wouldn’t know whether they liked it or not.
KAREN’S HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
2 1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
2 pkgs yeast
3 T sugar
4 tsp salt
1/3 c oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dry milk powder
4 cups whole wheat flour
3 c all purpose flour (about)
Mix water and yeast. Add sugar, salt, oil, brown sugar and milk powder. Stir well. Add two cups all purpose flour; beat very well. Add whole wheat flour until you make a stiff dough. Turn out on a floured board (with all purpose flour). Knead until dough is smooth and sticks only slightly to your hand, adding more flour from the bottom as needed. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and place in a cold oven along with a pan of steaming water. Let rise till double in bulk, about one hour. Divide in half, shape into loaves. Place in 2 greased 9x13 pans, turning to grease the top. Let rise till double, about 30-45 minutes. Bake in preheated 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Turn onto wire rack, Brush with shortening and cover with a towel until cool.
I use a Kitchen Aid Mixer for my mixing and kneading. I also divide my dough into fourths and place in 4 4x7 inch pans. I often give my bread away as gifts to sick people, new church attenders or as an encouragement gift. My children have learned the gift of caring for others through watching me give gifts of bread.