Made-with-Love Breadmaking Ceremony – a Mindfulness Exercise

Baking your own bread, from scratch, and eating it steaming-hot-out-of-the oven with fast-melting farm-fresh butter and homemade confiture must be one of the greatest pleasures known to man (and women, children and spoiled horses!) The aroma of baking bread, on a slow-starting Sunday morning, is one of my all-time favourite smells. To make your retreat uber-special, make sure it includes a Sunday, so that you can learn how to mindfully make your own bread in no more than 15 minutes (+ 45 minutes’ baking.) We will use a very simple French recipe, using only 2-4 ingredients. Baking bread is simple. All you need is a little bit time, a little bit of patience and lots and lots of love – the main ingredient.

“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.” James Beard

Soon as your bread comes out of the oven, you can break a chunk off, or slice it, and adorn it with whatever takes your fancy: butter, confiture, honey or cheese…or any combination of these. The baking part is the ceremony, the eating part is the celebration.

“The smell of good bread baking, like the sound of lightly flowing water, is indescribable in its evocation of innocence and delight.” Mary F.K. Fisher

Pauline Beaumont, a trained psychotherapist and the author of Bread Therapy: The Mindful Art of Baking Bread, says that “bread-making as a good example of the sort of activity that one can do mindfully by giving one’s whole self to the process and honoring the ingredients, utensils, and vessels used., which both helps us to slow down and become calmer but also can teach us to be able to direct and better manage our attention. This, in turn, can be helpful in managing our mood and anxiety levels.”

Ian Waterland says, ”Everyone would benefit from mindfulness in today’s modern fast-paced world. Many of us do use it but not consciously or as well as we could. It’s actually an ancient technique. It’s about being present in the moment.

That’s where making bread comes in. When making bread, you have to use all your senses and stay in the moment. How does it look, taste, smell, is the texture right and so on. I believe that the process of making bread is therapeutic, it is much healthier than buying bread and can be an effective strategy in combating stress and of course, it’s also fun.”

If you can’t join us for a wellness retreat right away, but would like to escape on a virtual visit to the sun-blessed south of France where you can quickly recharge your batteries, click here to Subscribe to my Mailing List