Dough Retreat

Today I made pizza dough while “my boys” were on the men’s retreat. As the dough rests, it rises, but it’s doing much more. Resting allows time for the flour to soak up water so it transforms into much softer dough.

Awhile ago, I was experimenting with ingredients and timing, trying to create a communion bread recipe that would not take all day to bake. Not only that, but after the baking, the bread, once cubed, needs to sit in the open air for an hour and not disintegrate in a crumble of dryness once placed in the mouth. It’s challenging to do when bread has no preservatives, but using a small amount of natural softening ingredients like milk, oil, eggs, and sugar helps to keep it moist.

One day someone suggested using a dough proofer to hurry along the rising process. Instead of purchasing this, I experimented with Rapid Rise yeast, proofing in warm ovens, and cutting back on the resting time. What I discovered is that, when I rush the process and don’t allow enough time for the dough to rest, the finished bread tastes a bit like paper. Depth of flavor is missing.

When I pass by opportunities to rest in God, my life is tasteless too. When I listen in silence, although it seems as if nothing is happening, my soul is soaking up God’s life-giving water.

Jesus said, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile.” Mark 6:31

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