The Sad Saga of the Failed Bread

Who does’t love the smell of freshly baked bread? It is an aroma that automatically sets my mouth salivating and reminds me of previous moments when the weather outside was cooler and the warm bread worked it’s magic in my bleary outlook on life due to the season.

Today I decided to break out the bread maker and set a loaf to cook so it would be ready for lunch we arrived home after church. I realised that it had been quite some time since I last baked bread, years in fact. I still had some bread mix in the cupboard from the last time and thought I would try a batch. I was aware that the yeast that came with the mix would possibly be past it’s prime, but decided it was worth an attempt. What did it matter if the ‘Best Before’ date was almost exactly 4 years earlier?

We arrived home and my first question when we walked through the door was “Does it smell like bread?” where my son responded with “it sure does!” So I breathed a sigh of relief and then went to inspect my miraculous creation. What I found in the bread maker was not a loaf high and fluffy and inviting, but a tiny, dense, disappointing blob of not-quite-cooked-through dough.

The yeast, the one living organism that is the vital ingredient in bread, was not able to do it’s required job and the resulting product was nothing like what I had been hopefully anticipating. To be fair, I wasn’t overly surprised by what was before me, except for the magnitude of the epic fail. I had expected that the yeast would struggle to produce the full sized loaf, but I was okay with a three quarter sized one, or even a half size. The bread that I made today would be lucky to be described as a roll it was so small. I sliced it out of curiosity more than anything and realised that the yeast had very little impact on it’s surroundings.

I consider the size of yeast and the volume it normally creates and I am drawn to the verses in the bible that talk about having faith the size of a mustard seed. (Mark chapter 4 verse 31). From something so tiny a huge tree can grow that brings shade and shelter. Jesus tells us that even if our faith is a speck, similar to that seed, we can do amazing disproportionate things in His name. Wow.

So the tragedy of my disappointing bread teaches me about the importance of having faith that is not past it’s Best Before date, but it also has highlighted one thing. I was prepared to throw away my bread but my husband suggested it will be fine if toasted, which it is. So while the results aren’t as good as what they could be, they certainly still have usefulness. Any yeast is better than none, just as any faith is better than none.

Now I’m off to buy some fresh yeast. I am already anticipating the results of this fresh effort.

Be blessed.

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