I taught Mr. Nettle how to make bread today. He loves bread, but we never have any around the house because I don’t eat it and he doesn’t feel right buying it just for himself (no, I don’t get that either – I don’t eat ice cream,  either, but he always has some in the freezer.) I have encouraged him to make his own, since it’s inexpensive and simple to make but I think he was intimidated by the concept of baking. Today, I finally took him by the hand showed him, step-by-step, how truly simple bread-making can be. He was amazed. I think there are many who would be amazed as well if they knew how little effort you can put forth and get a nice loaf of bread. I’m sharing this in the interest of getting anyone who might want to make homemade bread to try it out – it’s easy! it’s cheap!

This is the method I showed Mr. Nettle. I’m linking rather than describing it because the article is very informative and helpful and there’s no point in me reproducing it here. Here’s a quick overview of how it’s done: Mix up some flour, yeast, salt and warm water. Let it sit for a few hours until it gets big and poufy. Put it in the fridge to chill. Take a big handful and put it in a loaf pan (the article has you doing it on a baking stone to get blobby round bread, but I prefer a loaf-shaped loaf and it comes out just fine in a loaf pan.) Let it come back to room temperature and relax and hang out in the loaf pan. Preheat the oven. Put the loaf pan in the oven. Take it out in half an hour or so. Have some bread. Total effort expended: maybe fifteen minutes, if you include cleanup. You can make a giant batch ahead of time and make bread every day, or pizza crust, or rolls, or naan, or… well, you get the idea. Read the article for more ideas.

Here’s one of the loaves we made today:


Doesn’t that look tasty and good?

On a totally unrelated note, one of my most-viewed posts is the one where I showed a picture of my Druid altar. So here’s another of my altars (I have several – any open space where someone else might have tchotchkes gets altar-ized in my house – it just happens that way.)

Here’s where I say my prayers to Hekate:


The bronze is from an antique shop and just looks like Hekate to me. The triangular mirror is actually a stylized hamsa from Morocco, but I think of it just as a triangle (well, as a whole lot more than “just a triangle” but not as a hamsa.) The egg is obsidian, the two bowls are for incense and offerings, and the tea light holder is for a tea light. The bottle the flowers are in was dug up by workmen replacing a gas line in front of my house – it was under my front steps for years without me knowing, and is from the 1890’s and originally held baby food (“Mellin’s Infant Food.”) The black silk flowers are, um, black silk flowers – occasionally if I have to trim flowers from the garden, I’ll put fresh flowers in there as an offering, but this time of year, it’s black silk.