We’ve gone through many phases of quarantining as we adapt to the new normal. From panic shopping for toilet paper to scheduling virtual hangout with friends and now? Bread. You’d be surprised by how empty the shelves at the grocery stores are for bread flour and yeast!
The sweet, soft loaf of home-baked banana bread was what kickstarted Singaporeans’ baking craze towards bread. Now that the neighbourhood bread shops have ceased operations temporarily, where else can we get our daily supply of bread? Adding on, the scent of freshly baked bread strikes a sense of familiarity and comfort among almost all of us - adding on to the list of why we should bake our own bread.
On top of being a fun activity to engage in, did you know that there are many lessons we can learn from simply making bread? Read on as we feature four of them.
1. Take a break
When you’re repeatedly kneading the dough over and over again, you can’t help but escape from an overactive mind. Perhaps, this has to do with the fact that you’re working on something quietly while in your own company. If you’re feeling stressed out or overwhelmed about something, channel your thoughts into the pressure you put on the dough before letting go.
This experience is like, a sanctuary to meditate and escape the inner turmoil you’re facing. As you focus on the feel of rolling dough beneath your fingers, it teaches us that we need to take a break by slowing down and focusing on ourselves to heal.
2. Effective time management
Aside from setting aside your measured ingredients in small plastic containers or bowls, time is also a factor that has to be considered before you make bread! You need to calculate the number of hours required for the yeast to develop, and for the dough to rise. The process goes like this: knead, proof, shape and then proof - before setting it in the oven to bake. If you want to make sure you’re able to finish baking by a certain time, then you’d need to plan your start time well.
3. Patience is key
The total amount of time needed for the dough to rise typically takes hours depending on the type of bread you’re making. While you wait for it to double in size, you’d notice the dough bubbling which indicates the activating yeast! As much as you want to squish it, or for the dough to double in size as fast as possible, there’s no rushing the process. However, the waiting game is worth being patient for.
Once you’re done, you know that there’s a reward waiting for you in the form of freshly-baked bread. Now, we’re so used to instant gratification because we can simply get anything we want with the help of technology. This means if you are craving for certain foods such as pineapple tarts, you can simply order pineapple tart containers online and have them devliered to the comforts of your home. The process of making bread humbles us because it reminds us that if we really want something, we have to strive to be patient on top of working hard for it.
4. Life is about balance
Shaping the dough requires some elbow grease as you stretch and roll the dough into itself, but you also need to control yourself from ripping the gluten within the dough. As you exercise gentleness amidst strength, it’s only a potent reminder to us that balance and moderation are essential in our lives.
Who knew that there’d be so much to learn from making bread? This is such a fun activity for kids to try their hand in, as they absorb valuable life skills from this experience. When there are extras, don’t hesitate to pack them in take out lunch boxes to share among your family members or neighbours. If you ever feel bored at home, you know what to do! As you work on perfecting the dough, we hope you’d keep these lessons in your head. Until then, stay home and stay safe!