Posted by: wordofthevine | March 4, 2018

Baking Bread: A Spiritual Exercise

I’m so excited to bring together my passion for closeness with God and the priority I feel in living a simple, healthy life. Maybe it’s because, before being a theologian and a spiritual director, I was a dietitian with a degree in Nutrition as well as a mother of six kids and a wife. My family is so important to me.

When we live close to God, we are also close to that life-giving essence of life, maybe as gardeners or wanna be, or as cooks or physically active, healthy people. When we nurture our prayer life, we naturally want to be good stewards of God’s gifts and the fruits of this world. We can learn how to do this practically. It’s fun to try something our grandmothers or great grandmothers did and be successful at it. You can learn how to bake bread even when you are already busy and find it fun. Real bread that is flavorful, crunch and full of nutrition is so much better tasting and satisfying than the fabricated Wonder Bread that we can buy in the store that really doesn’t satisfy our cravings.

To get started, try a simple recipe that’s ready in one hour. Taste and savor it to see if what I’m proposing is true for you. Eating real locally grown or homemade food satisfies us at a deep level and doesn’t have to be time consuming.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread

1 pkg of active dry yeast                         2 1/2 cup lukewarm water

1/4 cup warm water                                1/4 cup margarine or butter or oil

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed                3 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon salt                                      4 cup all-purpose white flour

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and set aside. Use your mixer with a dough hook or in your bread machine (you can often find a bread machine at thrift shops for only a few dollars and use the dough cycle to mix this bread.) Stir the brown sugar and salt into the lukewarm water. Add yeast mixture, oil or butter, whole wheat flour and one cup of white flour, beat with your dough hook for three minutes to develop the structure and then stir in remaining flour until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Using your dough hook, beat for 3 minutes more.(This dough should have a slightly sticky feel but not stick to your finger.) Place the dough in a warm, not hot, place until it raises about double the size. Punch the dough down by plunging your fist into the dough and folding the sides into the center of the ball of dough. Cut the dough into three pieces, and shape the loaf by flattening the dough into a rectangle and rolling it into a loaf shape. Seal the seam and place seam side down in a greased loaf pan. Let each loaf raise until it doubles in size and bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes. Let the bread cool before cutting for best results if you can.

Blessings, Mary Kaufmann, Director of Incarnate Institute. Making this bread is a spiritual exercise.



  1. Nice recipe

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