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How to make bread

 

In his prose The Four cycles Jorge Luis Borges reviews 4 stories: 

 

one about a city sieged and defended by brave men (the Troy of the Homeric poems); 

 

another the story of a return (Ulysses comes back from Ithaka);

 

the third, a variation of the last, about a search (Jason and the Golden Fleece, the thirty birds and the Simurg, Ahab and the whale, the heroes of James and Kafka); 

and the last one about the sacrifice of a god.

 

 

Borges concludes: “Four are the stories. During the time left to us we will continue telling them, transformed”. 

 

This piece is about the basics..

 

about the basics of storytelling referring to the definition of the four type of stories by Borges

 

about the basics of a humans life – food

 

about the basics of the human activity – sheltering

 

This project is constructed around a recipe of how to make bread at home. The process splits into four steps – preparation of the sourdough, kneading, rising the dough and baking.  Each step in the recipe corresponds with a storytelling that is described by Borges and is illustrated by an art piece. 

 

4 stories

 

4 rooms

 

2 performances

 

1 sound installation 

1 video installation

HOW TO MAKE BREAD

Recipe 

 

 

Step 1

 

A City Sieged and Defended by Brave Men Recipe 

 

You will need:

3 cups of ray flour 2 cups of any other flour of your choice (white flour, whole wheat flour, spelt, mill or cornflour). White flour will make the bread soft and a bit fluffy, whole wheat flour is a bit denser and is darker, cornflour will not rise very much very well give a rich flavor 1 cup of water

 

1/2 cups of sourdough 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio installation: an old chair, shawl, flour. Headphones with an audio track (3 minutes)

 

 

 

Step 2 

 

A Journey of a Return and of Waiting

 

Put 2 cups of flour on a clean table or in a large glass or wooden bowl. Add approximately 200 gr of sourdough. My sourdough is contained in a 150 gr jar, so I add 2/3 of it.    

 

Add 1 cup of warm water, add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of sugar (any sugar i.e. coconut sugar or maple syrup are healthier options) and start to mix gently.     

 

Now it’s time to knead. Sprinkle a clean surface with flour. Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto this surface using your fingers.  Push the dough down and out, stretching it flat in front of you with the heels of your hands. Fold the top half of the dough back towards you, and press down. Then press out again, stretching and lengthening the fibers and gluten strands. Sprinkle the dough with flour to help it decrease in stickiness. Try not to use too much, but also don’t be shy about it if the dough is sticking to everything - use the third cup of flower for that. You can also stop and let the dough rest for about 5 minutes. This gives the flour time to absorb the water, which will make the dough lighter. About halfway through the dough will feel much less sticky, and much smoother. Around this point, you will probably not need to add any more flour.  

 

 

 

Performance. The artist is singing in Russian and kneading. 

Subtiltes with the translation of the song.

 

 

 

Step 3

 

 

This story is a variation of the previous, about the journey,

but it accents on a search

 

 

After the dough is kneaded thoroughly place the dough back into the bowl and cover it with towels. Leave it in a warm place to rise for 8 hours.   

 

8 hours afterward the dough bun will increase in size. 

 

If you want to add any kind of supplements, this the moment to do so. Here you use your imagination – cinnamon, coriander, caraway seeds, and even marigold flowers will make the taste of the bread richer.

 

 Make a hole in the dough and put your chosen ingredients, then start kneading again for 3-5 minutes. 

 

Put the dough in your baking pan. Leave in a warm place for another hour.

 

Textile installation with visual and audio effects. Screen projector. Sound speakers.

 

Step 4

 

The Last Story is about the Sacrifice of a God

 

Pre-heat the oven to the maximum (280 degrees)

 

Put the pan in the oven. Also, put several ice cubes to create a steam that will make a nice crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 180 degrees and bake 20 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave your bread inside for another 10 minutes

 

Take the bread out of the oven. Sprinkle with some water,
cover with a towel and wait another 10 minutes.
Now it’s ready.

Performance. Installation. Mirror, flowers, trash, broom. 

Story printed on paper.

Room 4 Performance