Our Daily Bread.
Our Daily Bread.
Complementary data: Recipe/action to reflect upon consumption and exploitation.
Duration: 2 hours preparation. Up to 1 hour set up. Up to 4 hours of service (depending on number of guests).
-1 tablespoon salt.
-1 teaspoon dried yeast.
-1 teaspoon sugar.
-1 tablespoon oil.
-70 ml red food dye.
-425 ml warm water.
-1 red tablecloth.
-1 white cloth.
-5 knives of different sizes.
-2 cards with instructions.
-2 people dressed in white costume (1 host + 1 ‘living chair’).
In a bowl, add the yeast to 100ml of hot water and the sugar. Leave for 1 minute then add red food dye and oil. Sift the flour with the salt into the liquid. Mix it with a wooden spoon first, then use your hands. Add water or four to adjust the texture. The intense red colour will be shocking. When the mix no longer sticks it is ready to be worked. On a clean surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes until it is springy and elastic. Return to the bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave it in a warm place for 1 hour until the dough has doubled. Preheat the oven to 230ºC. Now divide the dough in half. Shape it into two even elliptical shapes (bloomers). Score their surface by making some diagonal cuts. Dust them with flour and place them on a tray covered with grease-proof paper. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-40 minutes, until they sound hollow when they are tapped. When ready, take the breads out and leave to cool.
Cover the table with the red tablecloth. Hang the knives from the ceiling using the chains/ropes and the hooks, they should hang in a row at eye level right above the centre of the table. Wrap the red bread in the cloth and place in on the table, the stethoscope to one side, the two cards on the other. Place the chair on one side, this is where the host will sit. On the other side, a person goes on all fours to become a ‘living chair’.
This is an intense and intimate exchange. The guest arrives and sits down on the ‘living chair’. On the other side of the table, behind the knives, the host shows the guest a card which reads ‘Please point at the knife you want me to use’. The host then slowly unhooks the chosen knife. Ritualistically, the host unwraps the white cloth revealing the red bread. Pause. The host cuts a slice off. Pause. The host puts the knife to one side and breaks the slice to share the bread with the guest. They both eat in silence. The host then takes the stethoscope and checks the read bread for a heartbeat. Pause. The stethoscope and the knife are returned to their places again. The guest instructed to leave with another card that simply reads ‘Thank you’. This ritual is repeated with several guests until all the read bread has been consumed.