This is something of a weekend ritual. There is something deeping grounding and elemental about baking bread. The simplicity of the raw ingredients, coupled with the inherent warmth and energy of your hands, which together give rise to this everyday miracle. There is also a deep sense of being part of a timeless ritual; a practice that in its various forms has been at the very heart of human existence for millenia.
Not unlike keeping bees, I find making bread to be a meditative and mindful process. One that requires me to be 'in the moment' and also allows my mind to relax, making space for ideas to bubble up and start to crystalise.
While I have always loved baking, particularly sourdough, our weekly loaves are heavily-seeded spelt and honey. Members of my family have dietary intolerances to standard wheat flour, but are fine with spelt flour. Spelt is an ancient grain (in the wheat family), favoured I believe by the Romans. It is high in protein, but relatively low in gluten (although it still contains gluten and is not appropriate for people with coeliac disease). The lower gluten content makes it tricky to knead and shape, it is sticky and doesn't form that lovely smooth elastic dough characterisric of standard bread flour. It also doesn't hold its shape in the same way, resulting in a denser loaf ('crumb'). Most commercial 'spelt loaves' actually contain a mixture of standard flour and spelt flour, which is what got me started on this path in the first place.
Anyone who is serious about baking bread knows you must let it cool before cutting into it... but it is tough to be that disciplined! My favourite baker's perk is to have that first slice, the crisp crust, still very slightly warm, with butter and, of course, a little honey.