Weave and Bake: The Birch Bark Baking Basket
Try your hand at two crafts: basket making and bread baking! On the first day, students will use pre-processed, Minnesota harvested birch weavers to weave a loaf-sized (approximately 8”x6”) baking basket. Students will discuss the process of harvesting and preparing birch bark for weaving while weaving their double diagonal-plaited baskets. On the second day, students will learn the fundamentals of baking yeasted farmhouse-style loaves with an emphasis on using local ingredients, such as Minnesota-grown whole grains, maple syrup, wild rice, and dried fruit. Students will head home with a utilitarian basket to bake for several months in, two loaves of bread, and the skills of basket weaving and baking loaf breads at home.
Each finished basket will be conditioned for baking with sunflower oil and can be used in a home oven for many baking sessions. From one master bread recipe, students will practice substituting and adding ingredients to create their own custom bread recipes, and bake two loaves, one in their brand new, conditioned birch bark basket. Students should have considerable hand strength and be prepared to be on their feet for several hours at a time.