Family Photojournalism | NZ


this year's journal, projects, learning, practice and generally noodling about

Bread for slow days and mindfulness // Documentary Photography 'Detail' Challenge

Bread makes itself, by your kindness, with your help, with imagination running through you, with dough under hand, you are breadmaking itself, which is why breadmaking is so fulfilling and rewarding
— Edward Espe Brown

The Documentary Movement focus this week was DETAILS.  I chose this tiny detail from when I was baking bread(rolls) with my daughter.  

Claire Humphries Auckland Family Photograher TDM Detail

Such a tiny detail reminded me of when I had a toddler and a newborn at home.  Some days were overwhelming and I felt like I was swimming uphill, or through custard, or whatever analogy you choose.  I learnt that baking something, both concentrating on the making and then having something tangible I could point to to say "that's what I did today" could help me through.

To begin with I used (a borrowed) breadmaker.  I made the loaf from the instructions with the bread machine.  Delicious.  I graduated to spelt bread, wholemeal bread and disastrous fruit loaf. But some days I needed to knead (oh that's so punny) and found  delicious honey, cinnamon and oat bread.  Better known as whoo bread there is both an acoustic recipe here and a bread machine recipe here. I am telling you warm with butter it is hard to beat

bread recipe auckland family photographer

I perfected a never fail no-knead ciabatta which feels terribly cheaty but tastes good (especially with honey). 

There were a few vague references to a bread bible while I was looking for recipes. A bread book, The Bread Book, written by a monk. A kind of Zen of breadmaking written in 1970.  I had to find that, some things you know you'll love.

The Tassajara Bread Book. I found a floury old copy full of handwritten notes and followed step by poetic step the simple and comprehensive instructions to make the best bread you're likely to find anywhere. Encouraging recipes which reassure me there's no special tricks, I already know what to do.  It's hard to explain the way this little book changed my cooking (and probably more importantly me), but if you're lucky enough to find yourself with a copy why not crack it open and see what it does for you

Don’t give up. The most delicious food is made by someone who really cares about what they’re doing. If you’ve never made bread, your first batch is going to be better than nothing. After that, no comparison!
— Edward Espe Brown (The Tassajara Bread Book)

If you stuck with me til now I'm very humbled. My little detail picture was featured in The Documentary Movement Gallery and you can see the collection here