“…Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our tresspassess…”
extract from the lords prayer (Catholic)
Lunchtimes always started the same way.
One by one, in alphabetical order (sometimes in reverse), we would each rise from our cross-legged, straight-backed position on the floor and gracefully exit through the back doors of the classroom. Once out of school-mistress sight, previous cassocks of sensibility were ripped free as our hungry souls became possessed with a touch of competitive spirit. After hurriedly retrieving our stock-standard plastic lunchboxes from school bags hung half mast and genuflecting to the adjacent convent, we would then race to secure the prized possie under the limited shade of the nearby peppercorn trees. When the last of our catholic-school girl cronies had joined the clique’, it was time to unlock the lunchtime tabernacles, unveil the home-brought sandwiches from their tightly cling-filmed covers and let the trading begin.
Very rarely were my CLC (grated Carrot, Lettuce and Cheese), multigrain sangas competitive on the tanbark trading floor but every now and then, following an extended family Sunday Roast, my chicken and spiced chutney roll was worthy of an enviable punt. Since opting out of the trading stakes would challenge even the most pious of friends to forgive one for trespassing against the unwritten social code, I quickly mastered the art of prudent dinner time consumption: saving enough chicken for a second, all-to-myself, roll.
While lunchbox trading seems to be a fad of school days past, K1 and K2 have kept the in-house, tradition well and truly alive, utilising skills in mercenary bartering to secure the best dinner-left-overs for fillings. So named after the serminal father and son morning chess sessions, Bishop Bread sandwiches have gained prime position at the alter of lunchtime feast offerings, with Scott having to declare a coin-flipping truce to secure a peaceful end to a morning session of kitchen industry exchanges.
Packed with plenty of inspiriting micro-nutrients, carbohydrates, fats and proteins, these wholesome rolls prove healthy on the conscience and see my inordinately energetic children through the host of cognitively intensive activities delivered by the school deus.
Bishop Bread (makes 12 – 13 divine rolls)
2 ½ c milk
2 tsps instant dried yeast
2 c rye flour
1 c spelt flour
2 c wheat flour
2 tsp salt
Warm the milk to blood temperature in a saucepan on the stove. Meanwhile, place all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Make a well in the center. Pour the milk into the well then gradually stir in the surrounding flour until a soft dough is formed. Add more wheat flour if the dough is too sticky.
Knead the dough by raising it to eye level and then throwing the dough down hard onto the kitchen bench. Repeat this for 5 – 10 minutes or until the dough seems elastic in texture. Return the dough to the mixing bowl. Moisten the top with a little water and then cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place (out of direct sunlight) for 1 – 2 hours or until doubled in size.
When ready to make into rolls, punch down the dough. Using scales, weigh out approximately 100g of dough. Knead the dough briefly then shape into a tight ball. Place the ball onto a greased and lightly floured tray. Repeat this with the remaining dough, reserving some for the Bishop Bread tops.
Divide the remaining dough such that there is enough to make a small top for each roll. Roll each dough -top into a tight ball. Moisten, using a bulb sprayer (or pastry brush), each roll and give each one a top. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for 20- 30 minutes. Sprinkle each roll with a little wheat flour then bake in the oven at 200oC for 12 – 15 minutes or until brown on top.
When the school sanga making hour comes around, slice the rolls in half and load them with your child’s favourite fillings…such as left over roast chicken…or that basil pesto comprising freshly collected herbs from your green-thumbed friend’s up-cycled foam wicking box. Heavenly!