Bread, Salt and Water......
In our 20th century, one of our late Doukhobor leaders,
Peter Vasilyevitch Verigin Lordly in a very concise way
reiterated the meaning of our symbolsthat are ever-
present at Doukhobor services. He said "Bread, Salt
and Water symbolize our basic principle -
"Toil and Peaceful Life."
Bread is present at all of our Prayer Meetings, Weddings, Funerals - all special occasions.
Bread, I love baking bread, who doesn't! My Mom's bread is the best tasting bread I have eaten - I had tried making it for years and for years we had quite a bit of croutons in the house - it was too heavy, not quite right so I took a break from baking bread. The year I turned 50 I attempted Mom's Bread again and I got it right!! I love the whole process of gathering the ingredients, kneading the dough, for me it is very therapeutic and quite a workout for the upper body. I remember when I was young living at home - in school still, Mom would be making bread on the weekends and each of girls (3 sisters ) had a job with the making of it. Mom had a special wooden bench, made by my Grandfather I believe. It was the perfect height for the huge (deshka) bowl that was traditionally used for my Mom's bread. Mom just took some flour, sugar, butter or shortening, salt and warm water and yeast and always either some whole wheat, ground flax, or bran was added. She then had us grease our little hands (so the dough did not stick to them) with some shortening and away we went, kneading away. Sometimes we each had a turn (we needed to rest) .....what a memory, what a workout....I think that is the reason my upper body is still so strong! Mom would make many loaves at a time, with this dough she would also make 'bread pyrohi' filled with either cottage cheese, potatoes and garlic, sauerkraut or just tomatoes, onion and garlic. These she would then fry quickly in some hot oil. So the bread was baked and lunch or dinner was ready as well!
MY MOTHER'S BREAD
Beautiful, sacred bread.
Ingredients you will needs, all purpose unbleached flour, whole wheat flour,
yeast, shortening, salt, vegetable oil and warm water. Flax (ground), bran can
also be added.
All the dry ingredients have been added, I like to use
Bread Machine Yeast and add it right to the dry ingredients.
I take the bowl and put it in my large sink then add the oil and warm water.
Grease my hands with vegetable shortening and start to knead.
The dough has been kneaded and now ready to be covered to rise until double.
Bread is doing it's rise. I ususally set this on my stove with
the light on above it.
Grease loaf pans with either butter or vegetable shortening.
Dough has risen beautifully.
Punch dough down, gently and shape into loaves.
Today I made 7 loaves, let rise until double.
Covered, and risen - ready for the oven.
Bake at 400 for 35-45 minutes.
14 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 rounded serving spoons yeast (4 rounded Tbsp)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable/sunflower oil
7 cups warm water (approximate)
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. This is where I decide whether to add ground flax, bran etc.......Add oil, then water (2 cups at a time), depending on the humidity I will add more/less water.
Continue to mix until dough comes together, it will be sticky - this is where Mom's voice comes in - 'better to be sticky than too firm because your dough will be nice and light'
You can add a handful of flour, and grease your hands with the shortening and
continue kneading for at least 10 minutes, dough will start to come away
from the sides of the bowl.
Grease bowl, cover dough and let rise
(now here is my Mom's trick) the first rise is ONLY
20 MINUTES, then knead it down (if you hear a nice popping sound you
know your bread is a winner) cover and let rise again until double.
When dough has doubled, punch down gently and cut and shape into loaves
Put into greased loaf pans and let rise again until double.
Preheat oven to 400 , and bake bread for 35-45 minutes, when you tap the tops
with your knuckles it will sound hollow.
Remove onto rack and let cool - it you can't wait go ahead and slice yourself a
piece and slather it with butter!
EnjoyNOTE: if you are wanting to make some Bread Pyrohi for lunch or supper put aside a large loaf pan of the risen bread - do not bake at this time. I will post the information for this at a later time.