Sourdough and “Stones for Bread”

Bread making.

I’m not sure I could come up with something novel to say about the process– after all, people have been shaping loaves for centuries. My first thought was to share something poetic; I could wax on about the smell of yeast…the warmth of dough under my hands…the irresistible, velvety softness of flour.

Christa Parrish, author of Stones for Bread, manages much better than I to write a love story to the staple of human history. Tucked here and there between the pages of her book are instructions to make your first sourdough starter and recipes for Dark Chocolate Pain au Levain and Brioche Sticky Buns, among others. Regularly scattered throughout are tidbits on bread throughout the ages as well as musings on its Scriptural importance. Bread is woven throughout Scripture–in its stories and used symbolically– more than I think I realized before or thought about.

As for the fiction Christa pens, I admit: I have mixed feelings. While the tale of a bakery owner still healing from the scars of a tragic childhood resonated emotionally, I found myself a bit conflicted over some of the messages and meaning in the book. Ultimately I couldn’t resolve my differing thoughts about the novel clearly enough to feel as if I could give it a proper rating, or a fair review. Still, I thought it was worth mentioning, and if you read it I’d be interested in hearing your opinion of it.

Also…bringing up this book makes for the perfect excuse to share a favorite bread recipe, am I right?! While nothing overly complicated or fancy, I’ve really enjoyed this recipe for Garlic and Herb dinner rolls. I don’t have a KitchenAid, so I just knead them by hand for 15-20 minutes, and they always seem to turn out really well. I also speed up the rise time by turning on the oven briefly, then turning it off and putting the dough inside the warm oven. Follow the link above if you’d like to take a peek at these rolls and the rest of It’s Always Autumn’s website. Otherwise, enjoy the rest of your week– reading, or baking, or doing whatever God has for you to do. โค