We did it! Again. BREAD Encounters organized a successful community bake to provide 55 loaves of "Solidarity Bread"to the many residents of East County Transitional Housing Center. And what an uplifitng experience this was for EVERYONE involved!
Earlier in the month our awesome program Director Sabine Friedrich met with the ladies of the Chula Vista 1st Ward Relief Society, the women ministry of the CHurch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints led by Julie Aguilar. Prior to the event, all bread baking commodities had been purchased in bulk ,and what remained to be done that day was to prepare bread mix kits for our volunteer bakers. Sabine, ever so organized and efficient, instructed the ladies to measure out their assigned ingredients and in less than hour they assembled 50+ bread mixes which also included a packet of oats, gloves, and of course the "Overnight No-Knead Bread Mix" recipe as well as a perforated bread bag.
Each volunteer received a personal e-mail from the founder of BREAD Encounters (that would be me) thanking them for participating in the community bake and which included a link to an (unedited) video of the very simple process of baking this delicious bread.
The night before the bake a reminder went out to all volunteers to start their engines. Well, to get started on their doughs since the bread mix required 8-10 hours to for the bulk rise
due to the fact that it only contained 1/4 tsp of yeast. Yup, this means that 1 packet of yeast would provide enough yeast for 9 loaves of bread!!! All you need is to let the yeast do its thing overnight while you dream of breads to come. A sample time table was provided to make sure that the loaf could be shaped, baked before our designated drop off time.
We were going to receive the baled loaves in the kitchen of the church house. However, it tuned out we were not able to even get into the parking lot. Which meant we had to work out of the trunks of our cars. It felt like we were part of some clandestine operation! Like selling puppies out of your trunk, except we werenlt selling but receiving and our product was freshly baked bread. While setting up we realized we didn't have enough boxes to hold all the bread. There was a food distribution going on in the parking lot of the school across from our location and Sabine chatted up some volunteers and came back with enough boxes to eventually hold our combined loot of bread.
We had a wonderful time collecting all the loaves and chatting with the ladies, each of whom had a story to tell regarding their bread baking experience. One lady told us what a blessing it was for her and her mother who was suffering from Alzheimer's to be working together. They made six loaves together! Then there was Vivian, who had never baked a loaf of bread before and showed up with the cutest loaf of bread. Sizewise. The recipe calls for a standard loaf pan but it appears that covers a wide array of sizes. I got to meet our youngest bakers, 9 and 13, whose grandmother had signed up for the community bake but ended up relinquishing her bread mixes to the granddaughters, who baked some awesome looking loaves. The girls were wondering who the recipients of the breads would be and were delighted to find out that residents in a transitional housing center would end up enjoying their breads. People were pulling up in cars behind us and there was bread everywhere! Or so it seemed. We ended up with 55 loaves of bread, 5 of them sourdough , providedby our most faithful community bake volunteer, Ret. Commander Tim McCully, who has contributed his beautiful surdough loaves to every community bake so far.