Breaking Bread

Breaking Bread thumbnailBreaking Bread celebrates bread in its many forms. To break bread with an individual or a group of people is not only to share food with them, it also carries the implication of friendship, and finding trust, confidence and comfort in each other.

Branching Out was a weekly open access group for parents that I facilitated at Speedwell Nursery School and Children’s Centre in East Bristol for several years. Unlike some other groups, Branching Out supported and developed the women’s creativity rather than just focusing on their role as mothers. In this project, we cooked bread from our countries of origin whilst sharing stories and recipes with each other. With a crèche running alongside, participants were able to take time for themselves: engaging in creative collaborations, developing friendships and celebrating diversity. Here are some of photos, illustrations and snippets of stories from this delicious project.

Chin-chin is made of flour. It’s super easy to make and the recipe is simply flour, water or milk, and sugar. So growing up my elder sister always loves to make chin-chin for everyone at home. She does it mostly on the weekend or the holidays and it is also very important to have it during every festive period like the Easter period and Christmas. We always make chin-chin during the festive periods at home. It is mostly used to entertain our visitors with
a bottle of coke. Maureen Achu

Making sodabread
Me shaping a loaf
Occasionally I did some kneading and then Dad would divide the dough between two tins and leave it to rise on the back of the Aga. When it came out of the hot top oven we’d eat thick slices with lots of butter. If you cut that sort of bread when it’s hot it comes away in huge doorsteps and half the loaf has gone, but it was so delicious we’d do it anyway. That’s my memory: the smell of freshly baked bread, dripping butter and hanging out with Dad in the warm kitchen. Luci Gorell Barnes

Hands with dough
Joanne with naan dough
I don’t remember eating chapattis when I was little. I think it could be because my mother didn’t know how to make them or because she didn’t like them. Chapattis are a relatively modern addition to our Ugandan cuisine. They are an import from Kenya and Tanzania – previously from the Arab and Indian traders. Some more traditional households eat them as a side dish. Younger and more urban households eat chapattis as a staple and they are a very popular street food. They can be prepared as a Rolex, which is a chapatti rolled around omelette, tomatoes and green vegetables or Kikomando, which is chopped chapatti, mixed in bean stew.
Joannie Nakakawa Hampson

Dough balls and seeds
Ronda’s naan dough ready to shape, roll in sesame seeds and bake

Nonsele is a circle shape about the size of a big cushion. We’d make it with flour, salt and water. You knead it and roll it into a big circle. Put it on a nonsele, like a hot plate on a wood fire. You need to turn it. I don’t make it here but my mum does back in Kurdistan. She bakes for one month ahead, probably 300 pieces. It takes her about three hours. She used to make it for the whole family: me, my sister, my three brothers, and some for neighbours. To store them you wrap them in some cloth and when you want to use them, sprinkle with water to make them soft. Left dry they will stay good in the cloth for about two months. You can eat them in the morning with yoghurt or eggs or tahini or cheese, and in the afternoon with rice and soup.
Israa Ahmed

When I was a little girl my mum told me if I will eat the crusts of the bread, my boobs will grow bigger. Irina Zozuk

Making pogacsca
Ester showing Joannie how to make pogacsca
Pogácsa, or ‘pogi’ for short – usually gets a loose translation as ‘scones’ or ‘biscuits,’ – are everywhere in Hungary. It is made from yeast-based dough and there’s no “ultimate” recipe – everyone flavours it differently. The most common versions are the potato, buttery, cheesy and crackling pogácsa. The turf-cake (pogácsa baked in ashes) plays an important role in Hungarian folktales because it is what the mother gives to her son (always very poor of course), who leaves for a journey full of challenges. Among others, the tradition lives on in school graduations, when students receive pogácsa in their bags as kind of a lucky charm. I also used to get them when I graduated from secondary school. Eszter Traumne Nemeth