Baking bread in grandmother’s time was an art that is almost forgotten today. But the memories of that time are still alive in many families.
When I was little, my grandmother always had fresh bread on the table. It smelled so good and tasted so delicious. I still remember how she explained to me as a child how she had baked the bread herself. It was an elaborate process that required a lot of patience and skill.
To begin, the flour was sifted in a large bowl. Then a well was made in the center of the flour, into which yeast and a little lukewarm water was added. Then you had to wait until the yeast became active and started to bubble. This was a magical moment for me, because I could hear the crackling and bubbling.
Once the yeast was active, salt, sugar and more water were added. Then began the actual kneading of the dough. My grandmother used to do it by hand, keeping a close eye on the consistency of the dough. It had to be supple and smooth, but not too dry or too wet.
Then the dough was formed into a loaf and wrapped in a floured cloth. The loaf was then left in a warm place to rise. I remember as a child curiously pushing aside the cloths to see how the dough had changed. It had become so big and fluffy that I wanted to eat it immediately.
When the dough had finished rising, it was placed in the oven. My grandmother had an old wood stove, which was heated with wood. She knew exactly how long the bread had to stay in the oven to make it perfect. The aroma that spread through the house during baking was simply heavenly.
When the bread was ready, it was taken out of the oven and cooled on a rack. This was the most difficult part for me as a child, because I wanted to try the bread most immediately. But my grandmother patiently explained to me that the bread had to cool first so it wouldn’t collapse or get too soggy.
When the bread finally cooled, it was cut into thick slices and served with homemade butter or jam. This was a feast for the whole family.
Baking bread in grandmother’s time was not only a culinary tradition, but also an important family activity. My grandmother often gathered the whole family around to bake bread together. We children were allowed to help knead and shape the dough and also watch the bread being baked in the oven.
The bread was also a symbol of the family bond and the importance of cohesion and cooperation. It was a joint project