Can a Loaf of Bread Bring Us Closer to World Peace?

I created this Gluten-Free Peace Bread recipe, while I was living what I call a Slow-Down Revolution.

My little family of 3 had recently moved to our 4 acre homestead, and we’d decided to homeschool our {then, 6 year old} daughter. I was living with the challenges of chronic illness. My body was calling me inward.

I had this nagging feeling, deep down inside, that I just couldn’t ~ and was no longer willing to ~ live the disconnected, status quo existence of mainstream society. The timing for a Revolution was upon me.

My destiny required that I learn to live at the pace of the Land.

One definition of the word Revolution is: the movement of one object around a center.

Removing distractions from my life, both personal and professional, I followed that pull inward. I turned around. I made a conscious choice to  c e n t e r  my time, attention, focus, creativity, and empowerment around my Body, Home, and Family.

Rather than effort-ing to ‘change my life’, I surrendered to gravity. It lead me back to the foundations. My feminine cycles, my need for deep rest, my calling to weave my life with the land & the plants, and pulse with the seasons…it all came into the foreground.

I gave myself fully, to the path of Motherhood. I learned the ancient art of Herbalism. I witnessed the passage of time, and cultivated family traditions for marking it. I called in the Light. I played my Harp. I made my daily life a prayer.

During these precious years of cultivating a slower, more connected, more whole life, I spent my Winters on the land, as much as possible. One Winter, I had a stretch of 34 days at our Land Sanctuary ~ without stepping foot in a car, a store, or any other place.

I watched the fire dance in my Hearth, day in and day out. I listened to the waters that flow through our land. I walked the wild prairie, in the footprints of coyotes. Beneath majestic Eagles, I got to know the cows in that patch of Open Space ~ hundreds of acres of wild, backing up to our Land Sanctuary.

I looked to the mountains for strength. I tended Body, Home, and Family. I napped.

I fell deeply in love with Winter. I wrote poetry. I grieved. I healed. 

I created family Rituals. We Called in the Light together.

And yes, I baked. 

During this Slow-Down Revolution, I hatched a new way of being {and my Gluten-Free Peace Bread recipe was born, too!}. I became a hermit-homesteader, a listener of the land, an Herbalist, a Harpist, and a Baker. 

It was fundamental rewiring of my internal operating system. And there’s no turning back.

I now have an established, intimate, reciprocal relationship with my music, my kitchen craft, and the feminine cycles of my body, the land, the plants, and the seasons.

I’ve become interwoven with the hearth-fire at the center of our home. I’ve been blessed at sunrise by the sound of wind, beneath Eagle’s wings {something I’ll never forget}. I share a language with frozen prairie grass. And though I don’t believe that any human ear could ever fully comprehend the complexity of it, I know how to listen for the symphony of moving water. 

I’ve given myself fully to Motherhood and family life, and have become a better human being as a result.

I’ve learned to {re-}place my value, as a human, in relation to the land & plants, my writing and music, and the things that I come to know in the quiet space.

Beauty, food, family, and following the seasonal rhythms and needs & cycles of my body ~ have all become central to how I see my offering to humanity. They’ve also become the foundation of my fulfillment and happiness. Illusions like ‘achievement’, or being understood and/or validated by social norms, are no longer more appealing than the call of my Body and Soul. 

I look forward to continuing to share with you, the treasures I’ve found through learning to live this slow, connected life at our Land Sanctuary.

In the meantime, I’d like to share ~  

A Realization, from my Slow-Down Revolution ~ 

One of the simplest, and most accessible ways that we have as humans, and women, to come back into rhythm with Nature ~ and reconnect with ourselves & the people we love ~ is through Baking.

When we bake, from-scratch, we touch, smell, taste, feel, and participate in the transformational secrets of Nature.

Through baking, we take part in the co-creation of Beauty.

This old, female-centered craft, connects us with the generations that have gone before us, and feeds the generations of the future.

As we bake, we pick up a shining thread from long ago. We bring it forward, weaving ourselves into the golden fabric of time, as we go.

With the continuity of bread, we fortify tradition. And we are nourished in the process, in both body and soul.

And then there’s the Breaking of Bread ~

Some say, the very first bread dough was an accident. 

The story goes that, long ago, in Ancient Egypt, a handful of moist ground grain had been left out, in the form of gruel. A wild yeast particle, or a few, then came along on the wind and landed in the gruel. As they sat together overnight, the yeast caused that gruel to rise up into the very first dough.

Whether it was in fact, an accident, or the result of an in-depth chemical study… Either way, I say, it was surely a miracle. 

The main element of a loaf of Bread ~ grain ~ comes to us, as a gift from the Earth’s body. Yet, the transformation of this grain into what we call ‘bread’, is of our own, human design.

In Bread, the vast intelligence of Mother Nature ~ as grain, yeast, and fire ~ joins with that of humanity, applied as optimization and observed alchemy. The brilliance of both human nature and Mother Nature, in the baking of bread, are expressed in unison. 

And then there’s the breaking of bread.

In this simple act, we each take {or are given} a single piece from the one complete loaf ~ the whole. In partaking of our own piece, we connect our bodies with the one, the whole. We receive that nourishment individually, and yet we’re together in this act.

And together, we’re filled with the essence of bread, side by side, simultaneously ~ that sweetness, that unique way that bread has of filling the senses with the impression of love and nurturing, mmmm…it’s shared among us.

In bread, the one becomes many. The many become one. 

When we craft a freshly-baked loaf of bread, with our own hands and heart, and share it with the people who are right here, closest in ~  it unites us, because…

Is there anyone in the world that does not love bread? 

Now it’s time to craft your own Gluten-Free Peace Bread.

Maybe it will help you, or someone you love, make peace with a Gluten-Free lifestyle. I hope it will help you make peace with ‘carbs’. Or maybe it’ll even support you to make peace with someone whom you’re in conflict with. Gift this homemade bread, along with an authentic apology or acknowledgement. Use it as a seed for repair and reconnection. 

Next, call your loved ones to the  table, for a Celebration.

Bring this gathering together, with Intention. Center your gathering around something that’s important for you to honor, mark in time, share, or have witnessed. Make Peace-Bread for your guests. And bring it to the table, warm.

Now, ask everyone to touch the bread, or to touch someone who is touching the bread. Bless it, together. Thank the Earth for her gifts, which sustain us all. Give thanks for your home, these friends and family, this opportunity to gather together. Give thanks for your health and wellness today, and that of everyone at the table. And all of their loved ones, elsewhere, too. 

Enjoy a quiet moment together. Then, ask the people to share something from the heart. Notice the feeling at your table, the shining eyes of these people you love, the clarity of your mind, the sense of hope in the room, as you break bread together.

Do you think that your Peace-Bread may have just brought one little spot of the world back into harmony with itself? I most certainly do.

This simple act of baking and breaking bread is one small, but practical, impactful and genuine gesture that each of us can offer to a world where people so desperately need to remember ~ how to connect, and come home.

Home, Family, and Community are the roots of all of our relations on the planet. Baking not only makes life more Beautiful, but it brings more kindness, connection, love, sweetness, and nourishment into these foundations.

And that is how baking and breaking bread together, brings us one step closer to World Peace!

Below is my Gluten-Free Peace Bread recipe. It’s just like your favorite ‘white bread’ from childhood, only it’s fluffier, and has a more {subtly} complex flavor too. And of course, it’s home-made, full of love, warmth, and wholesome, unrefined ingredients.

The best part is ~ even your kids will love it! Your in-laws will too! They’ll never know it’s Gluten-Free. Even my {gluten-loving} Italian mother gave her stamp of approval! Thanks Mom! 

Did you see that fluffy texture in the photo up there?! Do you think Mary Berry would approve?!

Print Recipe
Gluten Free Peace Bread
Gluten-Free Bread that's just as soft and fluffy as the 'white bread' you loved as a kid! www.thewomensgrove.com
Course Bread
Cuisine Gluten-Free
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Passive Time 20 mins
Servings
{Depends on slice thickness.}
Ingredients
Course Bread
Cuisine Gluten-Free
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Passive Time 20 mins
Servings
{Depends on slice thickness.}
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Generously grease a standard-sized, oven-safe glass {or non-stick} Bread Pan.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375.
  3. In a small Mixing Bowl, add the following: 1 Tbsp Dry Active Yeast, 1 tsp Maple Sugar, and 1 cup almond milk {warmed, but not hot}. Whisk together to combine. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, or until it's increased in size.
  4. In a separate, Large Mixing Bowl, add the following: 1 Cup Fine White Rice Flour {tamped down & measured precisely}, 1/2 Cup + 2 TB Tapioca Starch, 1.5 tsp Xanthan Gum, 3/4 tsp Real Salt {or Sea Salt}, and 1.5 tsp Baking Powder. Whisk to combine.
  5. To the Large Mixing Bowl, add the following: 1 Large {beaten} egg, 2 Tbsp of melted Ghee, 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup, 1/2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar, and Yeast/Milk/Sugar mixture from small Mixing Bowl above.
  6. Using a Stand Mixer or Hand-Mixer, mix for 1.5 mins. Start on Low. Increase to medium, once all ingredients are combined and moist.
  7. Wet a Spoonula {or Rubber Spatula with water}. Use the wet utensil to remove all of the sticky Bread dough from the Mixing Bowl. Spread evenly throughout the greased Bread Pan.
  8. Wet your hands with water, and use your wet hands to even out the sticky dough, smoothing bumps and lumps, and leveling the top.
  9. Evenly sprinkle the top of the bread dough with Poppy Seeds, Sesame Seeds, and Onion Flakes or Granules {Optional}.
  10. Completely cover the bread pan with a dish towel, and let your dough rest while it rises, for 20 minutes.
  11. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. {Please note, I bake at 5,000 feet elevation. Your baking time may differ at a different elevation. Generally, the higher the elevation, the longer the baking.}
  12. Remove from oven and let it cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes.
  13. To remove your Bread from the pan, firmly hold your bread pan on both ends {use both hands}. Carefully turn it over onto a large dish or bread board. Then quickly and carefully flip your bread right side up. Take care not to break the bread. Don't fret though, I've made this loaf about 50 times, and I've never broken one yet! As long as you've greased the pan quite generously, your bread will slip out of the pan just fine.
  14. Give thanks and bless the bread. Then, using a bread knife, slice into any size slices you and your loved ones enjoy. You can see in the photos above, we like ours to be of medium thickness. Dip it in olive oil, or smother in your favorite bread topping. {My daughter and I LOVE to smear it with globs of unsalted Irish Butter. My hub doesn't digest butter very well, so he likes to use Ghee.}
  15. Slow down. Enjoy your bread together with the people you are closest to. And please, remember to tell me if you love this bread. It will make my day! xo
Recipe Notes

[recipe]

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