Living Arts Weekly: Seek the Practical

September 1, 2019

As we come around to the official end of summer, Labor Day, our thoughts turn once again to work — good, honest hard work. Rudolf Steiner had this to say about the value of the practical life:

Seek the truly practical material life
But seek it so that it does not numb you to the spirit.
Seek the spirit but seek it, not in passion for the super-sensible
But seek it because you wish to apply it selflessly in the practical world in the practical life.

Turn to the ancient principal,
Matter is never without spirit and spirit is never without matter
In such a way that we say
We will do all things in the light of the spirit,
And we will so seek that light of the spirit that it evokes warmth for us
in our practical activities.

Rudolf Steiner

I hope you have a good Labor Day weekend!

Mary O’Connell, Your Living Arts Weekly blog post editor

Practical Activity

Baking Bread

As many children and teachers return to the classroom, baking bread becomes a weekly activity.  The smell of yeast and of baking bread, the weight and texture of the mounds of dough during kneading and shaping, and, of course, the taste of the bread itself all lead children to be completely engaged in the process.

The farmer gave us golden grain
For us to grind and grind.
Now it’s flour, brown and white,
Soft and very fine.
Add the water, yeast and honey,
Mix it with our hands.
When it’s soft and not too runny
Let it stand and stand.
Shape the dough into a loaf.
Put it in to cook.
When it’s crusty, crisp and brown,
We’ll all have a look.


Traditional Wheat Bread Recipe


– 2 cups warm water

– 2 tablespoons yeast

– 1/4 cup of honey

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 tablespoon salt

– 3 to 4 cups whole-wheat flour

– 3 to 4 cups white flour

Grease baking sheets (a pizza stone also works well).  Measure 1 1/2 cups water; add yeast and 1/2 of honey.  Set aside till yeast has bubbled and foamed.  In a separate bowl, mix 3 cups each of flour and salt.  Pour in yeast mixture, oil and remaining water and honey.  Add extra flour as necessary to nice consistency of dough – not too sticky, not too dry.  Sprinkle a bit of flour on surface for kneading.  Knead for 10 minutes.  Form into a ball and place dough in lightly oiled bowl.  Cover and let rise in a warm spot till doubled in size (about 1 hour).  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Punch down dough, knead again and form into balls or shape into one loaf.  Bake – mini rolls in muffin tins ~12 min, rolls for ~20 min, loaf for ~45-55 min.  If you place a bowl of water into the oven while the bread is baking, it gives the bread a nice crust.

Best Gluten Free Bread

Last year, we shared our favorite recipe for kneadable gluten free rolls. It’s a good one, so we are sharing it again! Click below for the recipe.

Living Arts Weekly: Laboring

And speaking of practical, we can’t recommend highly enough Faith Collins’ practical book for parents of young children, Joyful Toddlers and Preschoolers, Create a Life that You and Your Child Both Love.

This is the most practical parenting book I have ever read. A great gift for new parents!  Click here to learn more about it.