This is my friend Konika (like Monica, but with a K) Wright and her daughter Sydney. She is wonderful– creative, caring, honest, and talented. Besides bringing her two kids, Benjamin and Sydney, very important persons in our household, to Curahuasi, she herself has been a real blessing to me. She is my “mom friend.” I can call her and say, “Aaah! We can buy an extra uniform this week! Less laundry stress!” or “Did you get the boys’ math homework? What were those symbols?” She and I see eye to eye on lots of issues and I am thankful to God for providing such a friend. Everyone needs someone to say, “I agree. That’s what I was thinking too.”
Many times I call Konika to say, “Can I please have that recipe?” She is a fabulous cook and baking is her specialty. There is another amazing family here, the Friedemanns, who do many things at the hospital, among them making bread and cheese for the missionary community. Michel makes over 500 rolls and many loaves of bread each week. He is training Konika to take over since they are going home in June. She gets to the hospital before 6:00 am on Tuesdays and makes bread for several hours in the big industrial kitchen. There is a hospital employee who grows wheat on her farm and sells it to Michel. Another group of people sort and clean it, they take it to someone to grind it, and then they use it to make the bread. The wheat itself is supporting a whole community! The resultant loaves are deliciously whole grain-y and heavy. We call it German bread.
In our house, when the kids see a bowl of wet-looking dough rising in the windowsill, they say, “Yea! Konika bread!” Now German bread is Konika bread too. What follows is original Konika bread, a no-knead, fail-proof air-pocketed bread. Enjoy some tonight!
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons salt
sprinkle of sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
Combine the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the warm water and stir. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel and leave it for a couple of hours or more. Heat your oven to 350 or 400 (our oven is either on or off, so I don’t really know). Line your baking sheet with a silicone liner (Silpat) or parchment paper and drizzle a little olive oil over it. Turn the bowl over and dump the dough out. Konika gathers her dough in and lets it re-rise. Sometimes I do or sometimes I just plop it on the sheet and put it in the oven. I like to drizzle the top with a little olive oil to help it brown and crisp a little. It should be done in about 20 to 25 minutes. As Konika says, “It doesn’t look pretty, but it tastes good.” Konika reports that her friend bakes it in a Dutch oven with the cover on and it turns out nice and crispy. Try it if you have an oven-proof pot. One day I’ll retrieve mine from storage…