Thursday, March 15, 2012

Simple and Profound Living: including Artisan bread recipe, and roasted vegetables

This comes to mind when I did a little research on a Monks life.  This is a huge decision to leave the life you have completely behind and take a life of prayer and service.  A monks life is separated equally into three parts prayer, work, and rest. I wanted to explain a little about a monks daily life and their meals.  This was very touching and educational for me.

A Monks day starts at 4 am to the symantron, a long wooden symbol hit with a mallet.  Think of a beating alarm clock.  Then they head to the church for matins, chanting of the hours and Liturgy.   This ends about 10:30 am.  The monks then head to their main meal for the nourishment for the days activities.  They then head to their allotted work, this is individual like gardening, house work, or grounds.  One more services is celebrated either at 3 or 5 depending on the calender year.  At 7pm the have their evening meal and then they are left to retire in their rooms.  Although at 11pm the symantron beats again for an hour of individual prayers in rooms.  They count the knots of the rosary repeating the Kyrie Elieson.  If you have never heard this, it is an amazing and moving phrase meaning "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me".  He then returns to sleep to wake at 4am with the symantron again.

For the most part monks use a vegetarian diet.  Meals are eaten in the beautiful refectory while someone reads from the New Testament through the entire meal.   A typical noon meal will have a seasonal salad, cooked beans, rice, and/or lentils in broth, seasonal vegetables, bread, side of fruit, fish, cheese, and watered down wine.  Depending on the order and the liturgical year some never eat any fish except feast days and the sick.  During Lent they refrain from any fish, eggs, cheese, and butter.  The vegetables they eat are only seasonal and grown in their own garden. The evening meal consist of soup and bread, mostly from the food left at the noon meal.  Fruits consist of those grown and maintained on the grounds, seasonal. On average the monks eat 1 lb of bread a day.  This is a huge calorie and energy source for them.

I wanted to make a similar meal.  Last night we had a seafood soup, side salad, artisan bread, roasted mixed vegetables, and wine.  The bread was simple to make and tasted amazing.  While my soup had a mixture of seafood that normal would not have been used for monks, the broth and vegetable in it would be similar.  The important thing I want to mention is the food eaten is simple, tasteful, and provides the energy for their daily task.  Monks do not sit around all day.  For the 1/3 of the day is spent in manual labor of the grounds and buildings.  A 1/3 in thoughtful prayer,  reflections, and study which also needs energy and focus.  The remainder 1/3 is in rest which as you see is very much needed. 


Artisan Bread Recipe 
4 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1 1/2 tbsp sea salt
 6 cups whole wheat flour
corn meal for sprinkling the bread



After rising
In a large bowl add your flour, yeast and salt.  I mixed everything just a bit.  Then I added the 4 cups of water and mix until just combined.  Here my daughter mixed with a spoon.  Cover the bowl with a piece of foil and a cloth towel.  The towel will help keep the heat in while it rises.  The dough will sit for 2-5 hours.  We let it our bread sit for 3 hours.








Remove the towel and foil and  cut into 1/3.  (This is a great representation of equal parts, work, prayer, and rest!)  On a stone or baking sheet sprinkle a little corn meal.  Then place your rounded bread and flatten out like in the picture.  Allow to rise for 30 minutes.  Then make a tic tac toe cut across the top.  This is very important to allow some heat to escape while baking.  If not done the bread with slit itself.  After making cuts, sprinkle a little corn meal over top.  In a 450 preheated place a oven safe bowl of water when you add bread to oven.  This is a steam bath.  Bake for 28 minutes and allow to cool. 

We enjoyed a loaf for dinner for a party of 7.  The remaining two loaves where used one at breakfast for french toast and the last for lunch.  We started another batch of bread this morning and thought this to be a simple routine for daily bread in just 5 minutes.  Today's bread will have a simple cross instead of the tic tac toe to symbolize Jesus sacrifice for us during this lenten season. 



Roasted Vegetables                                                         

4 red potatoes, sliced and 1/4
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
1/8 red cabbage, sliced thinly
4 small red peppers

On a baking dish place off vegetables and drizzle 1 tbsp of Olive Oil.  Sprinkle with a dash of salt and mix.  Place in 375 oven for 35 minutes.  Delicious!



I love the Kyrie Eleison  here is a video of 2 monks singing a version of this moving phrase
 "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me"
                                                                        

Kids Corner

Make your own garden, just like the monks.  Start small with a simple herb garden or favorite vegetables.   Make your own Herb garden step by step.

                                     

You can visit local monasteries near you.  Here is the location Monastery I plan on visiting soon here in Az,  St. Anthony  This is a wonderful experience and I have heard they have the most beautiful grounds to appriciate their works of labor.

Additional reading
New Advent The Carthusian Order
New Advent Eastern Monasticism
                                                                                                                             


34 comments:

  1. Yum I can't wait to try this bread!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Melissa, I hope you enjoy the recipe.

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    1. The bread was super easy. let me know if you make it and what you think. :-)

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  3. That bread looks very yummy!!

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  4. Makes you wonder what life would be like away from the hustle and bustle of big city living and the regular routines we are used to.

    :) Great post

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    1. Thank you for stopping by. I think that is why the life of a Monk interest me so much. I live fast paced, with so many distractions. This simplicity appeals to me. I would not last two days I am afraid, what a service to their faith.

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  5. Wow - this bread looks awesome! I have to make this for my husband - thanks for sharing!
    Carrie

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    1. Thanks Daveys Mommy. I hope your family enjoys the bread :-)

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    1. Your welcome Trisha. I hope you enjoy, I know my kids loved every bit of the bread. We made more the next day and they want me to make it every day now. I think I created a new daily task, lol.

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  7. The bread sounds interesting. I wonder how it would be if I let the sponge sit overnight? Might have a good sourdough flavor then.

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    1. I am not sure, if you do please let me know! I would love your thoughts on making it. Enjoy, and thank you for stopping by. :-)

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  8. I love finding new and healthy recipes, thanks for sharing this. Following back now and i look forward being part of your blog.
    Wishing you a great weekend..

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    1. Thank you for following May. I love to cook making old traditional dishes. So simple in work and great taste. Let me know if you try out making the bread :-)

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  9. Thanks for stopping by & following along. I was late today with my new post,I have a new link up going on please feel free to enter any of your recipes! or other creative posts. It is weekly. I would love to try making bread as my daughter & I love to bake!Going to explore more pages. Don't forget to link up if you like!PS.Now following you too. @ http://www.dearcreatives.com
    Have a great weekend!!

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    1. Thanks Theresa I entered my bread recipe. I am still loven that strawberry salad. Making one tomorrow for a get together. :-)

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  10. This is great! I am looking forward to reading more of your posts. I have always been interested in nutrition and how things affect the body!

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    1. Great! I love having you here Vicki! Thank you for coming by and hope you enjoy the bread and vegetables.

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  11. Wow! I learned a lot about healthy eating! Thank you!

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  12. Thanks for the artisian bread recipe! I have one for a white bread, but have been wanting one for wheat bread for awhile! So much healthier: )

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    1. Yes, and denser so it last longer for energy. The bread is still nice and soft too!

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  13. Thank you so much for the artisan bread recipe!

    Sarah

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Sarah. Let me know what you think. :-)

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  14. Sounds fantastic! I pinned your bread recipe! I will have to try making it. Thanks for joining the Alexa Hop. Happy St. Patty's Day!

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  15. Wow! Glad I joined the Alexa hop, just because it led me here! This sounds amazing!! I now have an idea for a new dinner for this week! Thanks!

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  16. Great recipe! The bread looks oh so yummy! I have been talking about making bread forever, you've inspired me!

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    1. Great, thank you Stacey for stopping by. Let me know how it goes!

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