Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Baking Bread

 By Sara:

I recently had a great time baking bread with the staff of the Berea College kitchen.  They have a firewood-powered oven, but they haven't used it much lately.  They told me that they had tried baking bread before, but didn't have good results.  I'm guessing that they were baking bread based on recipes meant for lower altitudes, since their main problems were from the bread falling or not rising and ending up short and hard. 

Since I brought high-altitude baking cookbooks with me, I offered to teach them how to make some of the bread recipes from the books so they can try again with baking bread.

We made three different kinds of bread: a plain white bread, French bread, and English muffin bread.  They have a scale, so we measured the ingredients using my measuring cups and spoons, then wrote down the weights for them so they can continue making the same recipes using the tools that they have.

The bread turned out beautifully and everyone who passed by the kitchen was very interested in tasting it.   We calculated the cost of the materials and determined that they would be able to sell this bread and make a profit.  Above is the head chef, Simon, shaping dough into bread pans.

I love teaching hands-on skills like this because the students are the ones who do the work and get the credit.  These guys (Mulai - left, and John - right) are the ones who made this beautiful bread, not me!


  1. I can almost smell that wonderful bread!What a great practical tool to teach others!

  2. Way to go! Those are beautiful loaves for sure! So impressed what you learn to do with such basic instruments. I bet the guys were so blessed to learn this new skill.

  3. I'm so happy to see that your high altitude cookbooks helped them bake beautiful loaves of bread! How exciting!

  4. Delicious to the eyes, as well as the palate!